While members of the Illinois delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives are suggesting ways to make a federal transportation bill acceptable, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says there’s no way. Durbin says the bill under consideration in the House, which de-couples public transit from the motor fuel tax, cuts Amtrak funding by 25 percent and gives Illinois less for roads and bridges, cannot be turned around.
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“The House Republican transportation bill declares war on Illinois, Chicago and mass transit across America. There is no explanation and no defense for their approach,” he said. Durbin says the Senate has a better plan that maintains highway funding in Illinois, maintains Amtrak funding and keeps mass transit’s share of the highway trust fund. This measure has bipartisan support, having passed a procedural vote in the Senate 85-11. Durbin is asking Illinois members of the House from both parties to kill the House plan.