Harry Potter and the Deathly Transportation Bill

It’s probably a good thing that fictional characters usually keep away from the business of Congress, but J.K. Rowling’s favorite wizard briefly swooped into a U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works hearing on Thursday.

Terrence M. O’Sullivan, president Laborers International Union of North America, was one of the witnesses supporting a two-year, $339 billion transportation bill endorsed by Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and James Inhofe, R-Okla., the EPW chairman and ranking member.

O’Sullivan warned that if a U.S. House six-year, $210 billion bill  were to pass, construction workers could lose as many as 490,000 highway jobs in the first year.

“It would result in a dramatic acceleration of the decline of our nation’s transportation infrastructure,” O’Sullivan said.

He said the authors of the House proposal “have found the will to justify billions of dollars in tax breaks and loopholes for corporations and the wealthy, while cutting investment that all Americans and our economy depends on.

“This may be the summer of the blockbuster Harry Potter movie, but a magic wand won’t prevent what for so many Americans and for our nation will be the real Deathly Hallows as more jobs disappear, more families suffer and the U.S. falls further behind,” O’Sullivan said.

-- Contact R.G. Edmonson at bedmonson@joc.com.

For the full story: Log In, Register for Free or Subscribe