Federal Furloughs Could Bring Layoffs At DDOT | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Federal Furloughs Could Bring Layoffs At DDOT

Play associated audio
Some highway construction projects in D.C. have been halted because Congress failed to pass key transportation legislation.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kylemay/
Some highway construction projects in D.C. have been halted because Congress failed to pass key transportation legislation.

By David Schultz

Construction crews on dozens of highway projects across the country are idle today because Congress failed to approve a crucial piece of legislation.

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) is blocking an extension of the Highway Trust Fund, which pays for - among other things - federal safety inspectors. Without those inspectors, work had to stop yesterday on dozens of projects, including the 9th Street Bridge over New York Avenue in Northeast D.C.

Gabe Klein, head of D.C.'s Department of Transportation, says construction crews at 9th Street will be reimbursed when the shut-down ends. He says that means they'll be paid $10,000 a day to do nothing.

"If this doesn't get fixed this week," he says, "$50,000... gone."

Bunning says he doesn't want Congress to increase the federal debt by passing the bill without first identifying its funding source. But the bill could be passed as early as tomorrow afternoon, over Bunning's objections.

Klein says if it doesn't get passed soon, he could be forced to make widespread layoffs at DDOT.

NPR

British Mystery Novelist P.D. James Dies At 94

The author of such books as The Black Tower was best-known for her series featuring Scotland Yard detective Adam Dalgliesh.
NPR

Can Breeders Cure What Ails Our Breast-Heavy Turkeys?

The standard commercial American turkey is the product of decades of intense selective breeding. But breeding for efficiency and size has created new health problems scientists must grapple with.
NPR

EPA's Proposed Rules Add To Obama's Collision Course With GOP

The Environmental Protect Agency has drafted regulations on Ozone pollution. The latest move exposes divisions between the Obama administration and leading Republican lawmakers over the environment.
NPR

In Darren Wilson's Testimony, Familiar Themes About Black Men

Wilson's descriptions of Michael Brown reminded some people of negative depictions of African-Americans in history. Recent studies suggest these perceptions have deeper psychological roots.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.