An article published in the New York Times near the end of last week's budget battle describes the challenges that House GOP members are faced with as they try to pare down the budget while preserving funds needed for projects back home.
The Republican budget bill also called for cutting a type of popular transportation grant. Since the cut was proposed, there has been an apparent rush to get work going on projects financed by the grants to keep them from being ended by any budget-cutting deal agreed to by the two parties and the White House. Consider the case of the Memorial Bridge, which stretches over the Piscataqua River between Portsmouth, N.H., and Kittery, Me. The aging bridge, in ill repair, was set to receive $20 million in transportation grants.
But Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, and Senators Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine and Representative Frank Guinta of New Hampshire — all Republicans who voted for the Republican spending-cut bill that slashed the grant program — worked to ensure that the bridge project would receive the financing, according to staff members from several of their offices.