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Sen. DeMint Attacks Bikes in Stimulus Package

Published February 6, 2009

Just got off the phone with Bikes Belong's Tim Blumenthal who's at ground zero and in the thick of it in Washington D.C., making sure the final stimulus package has plenty of bicycle-related project funding. You might have already heard that Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) has offered an amendment to specifically prohibit funding for bicycles, walking and off-road vehicles.

The people Blumenthal has spoken with said "this has no chance in hell" in sticking to the wall.

"When people see bike trails and hiking trail and golf courses, they know this is not designed to stimulate the economy and create jobs," DeMint said.

"Bike infrastructure jobs create just as many jobs as highway construction," Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal said things are moving fast with the stimulus package, and that the Senate should have something in place by Monday. It would then go to a conference committee, where a compromise would have to be had between the Senate bill and the already passed House bill, which Blumenthal is quite happy with. Roughly $800 million in the House bill tackles bicycle-related projects, he said.

Keep it right here to see what the final numbers end up looking like.

UPDATE: Tim was right. Only a couple hours after I got off the phone with him it looks like Senate members ditched the Friday evening cocktail parties for some actual work, because an agreement was reached in the Senate. Looks like Tim was right and something could be on the president's desk to sign by the end of next week.

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