Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) told The Huffington Post on Tuesday that he would not support the bill put together by House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.). His objection is two-fold: He said the measure relies on accounting gimmicks to replenish the dwindling trust fund, and more significantly, lawmakers are abdicating responsibility by only replenishing the fund through next May. [...]The White House has expressed support for the measure, but in remarks Tuesday, President Obama made clear that his support was more in the "better than nothing" vein than actual enthusiasm, saying that "all this does is set us up for the same crisis a few months from now."
Welch's defection complicates the passage of a bill that already has its share of critics. On Monday, two top conservative groups -- Heritage Action for America and Club for Growth -- both came out in opposition to the measure, and said they would score the vote for members. Their complaints were that the bill relies on pension smoothing, which allows for a delay in payments that corporations make to their pension funds that result in a higher corporate tax bill.
So Congress shouldn’t pat itself on the back for averting disaster for a few months, kicking the can down the road for a few months, careening from crisis to crisis when it comes to something as basic as our infrastructure. Instead of barely paying our bills in the present, we should be investing in the future. We should have a plan for how we’re going to make sure that our roads, our bridges, our airports, our power grid, our water systems—how all those things are going to be funded, and do it in a responsible way so that people can start planning. That also means we can save more money—because we’re not doing it in stopgap measures.But as long as Republicans control any part of the government, stopgap measures are all we'll have, and even those will often be in doubt.