Both House and Senate leaders say their highway bills will create jobs. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., even said the Senate's bill would would create 2 million jobs. What's the truth? Economists say yes, jobs will be created, but not necessarily new ones.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the bills would simply shift spending that was creating jobs elsewhere in the economy to transportation industries. Urgency for highway bill passage is growing because the government's spending authority for highway and transit programs — and its legal power to levy most of the 18.4 cents a gallon federal gas tax — expires at the end of this month.