Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ron Paul files bill in the House of Representatives to prevent the Trans-Texas Corridor from receiving federal dollars

Paul: No federal funds for TTC

January 31, 2008

By Stephen Palkot
Fort Bend Herald
Copyright 2008

Ron Paul, Republican congressman from Lake Jackson who is running a longshot bid for president, has filed a bill in the House of Representatives to prevent the proposed Trans-Texas Corridor from receiving federal dollars.

The TTC is a large transportation network championed by Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas Department of Transportation that would carve a wide swath out of central Texas to add highway lanes, rail lines and other infrastructure to major trade routes in the state.

Paul, who represents District 14, has long opposed the concept. Among the goals of the TTC are improving trade between the U.S. and its North American neighbors. Paul, who opposes U.S. membership in the United Nations, has said the TTC is part of a broader effort to form a North American organization that could supplant aspects of U.S. law and policy.

Paul has further stated his opposition to the superhighway being built by private companies, who would control aspects of the corridors and would charge fees for its use.

“I am particularly concerned about the use of eminent domain to take private land for the construction of this highway,” said Paul, “and this bill would prevent the federal government from participating in this heinous practice.”

Thus far, planning is under way for two major routes of the corridor: TTC-35 (to run along I-35 in Central Texas) and TTC-69 (to run along the path of the future I-69 along the Gulf Coast).

The corridor proposal has run into much criticism. In January, TxDOT officials travelled the state for a series of “town hall meetings,” which were intended to foster discussion about the TTC and what state leaders say are its benefits. The meetings, including one in Rosenberg, brought out large numbers of opponents.

Paul's district includes western and northern Fort Bend County, including Simonton, Fulshear and Cinco Ranch. He faces two primary opponents in his District 14 re-election bid, and is a candidate in the Republican presidential primary.

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