Issue: H.R. 4348 Latest title: Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act or MAP-21. (Combines Highway with Student Loan and Flood Insurance.) Question: On the Conference Report (3/5 required).
Result: Conference Report agreed to: 74 – 19, 1 present, 6 not voting. Became Public Law 112-141 (signed by the President 7-6-12). GOP and Democrats scored.
Bill Summary: Combines a 27-month highway bill with a one-year extension of the 3.4 percent subsidized student loan rate and a revamp of the federal flood insurance program for the next five years.
Analysis: The House-Senate Conference Committee on H.R. 4348, a largely highway measure, tacked on unrelated appropriations for two controversial programs — the Flood Insurance Program and the Stafford Student Loan Interest Rate Expansion Program. The combination of unrelated measures, with tradeoffs, made it politically easier to win bipartisan support. However, the tactic was guaranteed to perpetuate spending for unconstitutional programs.
The highway bill contains massive, intrusive direction to the states in return for receiving financial aid. For example, the bill requires that 10% of amounts made available for federal-aid highways and public transportation programs be contracted to “small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.”
The two other programs — flood insurance and Stafford student loans at subsidized rates — are unconstitutional, revamped or otherwise, and should be phased out.
We have assigned (good vote) to the Nays and (bad vote) to the Yeas. (P = voted present; ? = not voting; blank = not listed on roll call.)