What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Campaign Finance Reform : HR 3. Surface Transportation Reauthorization/Vote to Defeat an Amendment to Impose New Restrictions on Campaign Contributions to Public Officials by Private Transportation Contractors.
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HR 3. Surface Transportation Reauthorization/Vote to Defeat an Amendment to Impose New Restrictions on Campaign Contributions to Public Officials by Private Transportation Contractors.
senate Roll Call 119     May 11, 2005
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

Congress generally reauthorizes transportation spending every five or six years to provide direction to the nation's transportation projects. During debate on legislation to reauthorize congressional spending priorities in the area of surface transportation, Senator Corzine (D-NJ) introduced an amendment which would have limited political campaign contributions to state lawmakers by private transportation contractors. Progressives supported Corzine's amendment as a way to clean up corrupt practices in the awarding of government contracts to private contractors, insure healthy competition over government contracts, and maintain the quality of infrastructure projects. According to Senator Corzine, "Our amendment addresses a serious problem where Federal highway and mass transit contracts are awarded by States, those situations where Federal money and State money are intermixed in contracting administered by the State. These contracts are often or can be influenced, either by perception or reality, by political contributions." Conservatives opposed Corzine's amendment. In the words of Senator Bond (R-MO), "Political contributions have absolutely no effect on the selection of Federal aid highway projects because, unless otherwise approved by the Secretary, construction projects are awarded only on the basis of the lowest responsive bid that meets the established criteria, based on the State's department of transportation engineering estimates." The subject of this vote was a motion to table (strike down) Corzine's amendment, a motion which Progressives opposed based on their support for the amendment. On a vote of 57-40, the tabling motion was upheld, Corzine's amendment was defeated, and no additional limitations were placed on campaign contributions to public officials by private transportation contractors.

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