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The Suburbanite
  • Two brief, shining moments in D.C.

  • The issue: Passage of transportation, student loan bills

    Our view: Especially in wake of health care ruling, bipartisanship is welcome

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  • The issue: Passage of transportation, student loan bills
    Our view: Especially in wake of health care ruling, bipartisanship is welcome
    Once again, members of Congress have let important legislation go until the last minute of the 11th hour.
    That’s frustrating, as always. But especially given last week’s political bombshell of a Supreme Court ruling, the fact that legislators did work together to approve two critical bills before midnight struck is cause for celebration,
    As it wrapped up business last week before its holiday recess, Congress faced two big deadlines: Saturday, when the federal government would lose the ability to collect fuel taxes, and highway and transit programs would lose their funding; and Sunday, when new applicants for student loans would face interest rates double the rate that had been in effect.
    In a divided Congress, only bipartisanship and compromise can get legislators where they ended up on Friday, sending on to President Obama two bills that will avert those situations and positively affect millions of Americans.
    “The final compromise on the highway bill is far from perfect, but it is better than having no infrastructure plan in place at all,” 16th District Rep. Jim Renacci said Friday. He voted for the bill. So did 13th District Rep. Betty Sutton, who said that she looks “forward to working with my colleagues in the future to strengthen ... critical provisions” of the bill.
    Renacci is a Republican, Sutton a Democrat, and both want to represent the newly drawn 16th District next year. A bitter campaign already is unfolding, and it is likely to get worse now that the Supreme Court’s upholding of the federal health care law has injected new life into that issue on the campaign trail.
    But for a day, Republicans and Democrats in Congress saw eye to eye and got something beneficial done. A good day in Washington, all in all.