Schwartz hammers Pa. GOP over reticence on transportation spending

    Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Allyson Schwartz has been getting some face time with members of her own party in Harrisburg.

    The congresswoman is encouraging House Democrats to pass a transportation funding proposal still under negotiation.

    Republicans have opposed the roughly $2 billion plan and its anticipated effect on motorists through potentially higher gas prices and increased license and registration fees.

    But Schwartz says if the GOP is withholding support on a transportation bill because it would amount to a tax increase, they might as well say there’s no tax hike that they would support.

    “No matter how essential it is to keep Pennsylvania strong and vibrant and economically secure, they would never, ever vote for any kind of fee increase. That’s what they’re saying,” she said Tuesday. “And that’s a pretty irresponsible way to govern.”

    A bill to fund roads, bridges, mass transit, and other transportation projects is still the subject of talks in the House.

    Republican leaders have insisted it can only pass among their members if it includes changes to the state’s prevailing wage law to bring down union pay on smaller public works projects.

    Democrats say they oppose such changes, as does Schwartz.

    But she stopped short of telling lawmakers to insist that it be removed from the proposal.


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