NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


August 10, 2005

Six prominent citizen groups recently sent a letter to the White House advising President Bush to veto the $286.5 billion highway bill. The statement, organized by the non-partisan National Taxpayers Union (NTU) and Taxpayers for Common Sense Action, was also signed by the leaders of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, the Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks.

They pointed out that Congress's decision to exceed the President's recommended funding level by $2.5 billion was reason alone for a veto. However, they cited several other arguments against signing the legislation:

  • Congress used budget gimmicks to break the $283.9 billion budget ceiling by including an $8.5 billion rescission of past budget authority that conveniently takes effect on September 30, 2009 -- the last day the bill remains in force.
  • Congress approved an extra $2.5 billion, which could have the effect breaking Bush's budget ceiling by $11 billion for virtually the entire life of the proposed law.
  • The bill is packed with nearly 6,500 member-requested projects amounting to more than $24 billion, almost 9 percent of the total spending.
  • Signing the transportation bill as is would undermine the President's expressed goal of halving the deficit by 2009, especially in light of the rescission tactic.

While President Bush described the transportation bill as "fiscally responsible," the signatories contend that much more work needs to be done on the legislation before it is worthy of such a term.

Source: Press Release, "Costlier-than-Advertised Highway Bill Deserves Bush's Veto, Six Citizen Groups Say," National Taxpayers Union, August 4, 2005.

For text:

For letter to President Bush:


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