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The Times
  • Lamb urges Hanna on federal highway bill

  • Congressional hopeful Dan Lamb criticized his opponent, U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna, R - Barneveld, over the federal highway bill on Thursday.

    Lamb, a Democrat of Dryden, blamed congressional Republicans for playing a part in the stalled bill negotiations.

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  • Congressional hopeful Dan Lamb criticized his opponent, U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna, R - Barneveld, over the federal highway bill on Thursday.
    Lamb, a Democrat of Dryden, blamed congressional Republicans for playing a part in the stalled bill negotiations.
    He said vital infrastructure projects, such as the one slated for the North-South Arterial in Utica, face the prospect of not being funded if the bill isn’t passed.
    “It should have been getting support,” Lamb said of the bill, which has been passed by the Senate. “Instead it’s been nothing but gathering dust.”
    Hanna, who also has been endorsed by the Independence Party, faces a Tuesday primary against Earlville Republican Michael Kicinski.
    Hanna is vice-chairman of the House’s Highways and Transit Subcommittee
     He’s also been part of a House-Senate committee, which has been holding negotiations on the bill for more than a month but has been unable to reach an agreement on a host of issues.
    “Mr. Lamb clearly shows a poor understanding of the issue and the status of the negotiations,” Hanna’s spokeswoman, Renee Gamela, said in a statement.
    Several members of that House-Senate committee issued a statement Thursday indicating an agreement is close. U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., issued a statement saying they hope to complete a package by next week.
    Highway and transit programs have limped along under a series of nine extensions since the last long-term transportation bill expired in 2009. The bill would provide a two-year, $109 billion program.
    Authority to spend money from the Highway Trust Fund — the main source of federal transportation aid to states — expires June 30. As a practical matter, congressional leaders need to make a decision next week on whether to continue to try to pass a comprehensive bill, or whether to seek a temporary extension of transportation programs.
    Contributing: The Associated Press

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