The Old South continues to spurn the advances of Mitt Romney despite his assertion that he loves grits and says "y'all." Alabama and Mississippi voters chose Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich ahead of Romney last night. Governor Romney did pick up wins in Hawaii and American Samoa so it was not a total loss. Also, delegates are awarded proportionally in Alabama and Mississippi so Romney continues to edge closer to the magic 1,144 number needed to clinch. He currently has 495 and is leading in delegate rich states like New York (95 delegates), California (172 delegates) and Texas (155 delegates).
Romney's campaign continues to point out that it really comes down to math and remaining delegates. Despite Santorum's appeal to more conservative Republicans he might be too far behind to catch up unless the Romney campaign completely implodes. Of course, a campaign slogan of
"Do the Math - Romney 2012" probably does not fire up voters.
The House is out this week leaving the Senate to continue consideration of S1813, which is a two-year surface transportation bill. It seems likely the Senate will pass this bill today (Wednesday) and send it to the House.
Time is of the essence to pass a new highway bill. The federal highway program has not had a long-term funding plan since 2009 and has been operating on short term extensions since. Short term extensions prevent our state highway department from properly planning for future projects.
In an effort to encourage our Congressional delegation to support long-term surface transportation legislation we are initiating a call to action and asking for your help. We have prepared a letter stating our support for long-term transportation legislation without specifically endorsing any single bill.
Review this letter online! If you agree please join us as signatories. It is easy to join in - simply email me with your name and city or if your company would like to sign on send me your company name and city. I will then add you to the growing list of signatories. We plan to deliver this letter to our delegation on Friday.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN ON TO TRANSPORTATION LETTER
Each week I will try and highlight committee meetings or bills that are on the House and/or Senate schedule that might be of interest to our members. If you wish to voice your opinion on this legislation please use the contact information provided below.
Week of March 6 - March 11:
Senate Vote: S1813 - Surface Transportation Program - Two year infrastructure and surface transportation bill. Shorter than the more controversial house bill and without some of the baggage related to transit and oil drilling.
Some of the new legislation introduced this week that might be of interest to Chamber members includes:
New Public Laws
Below are a list of recent legislation of interest that has passed both House and Senate and has been signed into law by the President.
PL112-98: Federal Restricted Grounds and Improvement Act. Amends criminal code on restrictions for people unlawfully entering restricted federal grounds.
PL112-99: To Apply Duty Provisions of 1930 Tariff Act to Non-market Economies. According to the White House this bill "clarifies that the countervailing duty law can be applied to subsidized goods from nonmarket economy countries; and the Department of Commerce can adjust antidumping duties applied to goods from nonmarket economy countries when countervailing duties are applied to the same goods."
If you would like to voice your opinion on this or any other legislation you can contact Congressman Steve Womack by visiting his website
or calling his Washington D.C. office at 202-225-4301.
Senator Mark Pryor by visiting his website
or calling his Washington D.C. office at 202-224-2353
Senator John Boozman by visiting his website
or calling his Lowell office at 479-725-0400.