Why Does Jeff Denham Want to Destroy His Constituents’ Jobs?
The modern Republican Party is a bizarre creature in many ways. One of its strangest aspects is its willingness to not only destroy the jobs of their supporters and constituents, but to do so openly, even loudly, and with glee.
Jeff Denham provides the latest example. Once touted by some in Sacramento as a moderate, Denham has since shown himself to be just as extreme – and nutty – as any of the other far-right Republicans in Congress. Of course, you can’t be any other way and survive as a Republican member of Congress these days. And so Denham has joined the job killing attack on his own constituents.
The most recent example is Denham’s bizarre yet totally unsurprising move to use California HSR funds on the Northeast Corridor instead:
Rep. Jeff Denham, the chairman of the railroads subcommittee in the House of Representatives and like many fellow House Republicans a critic of California’s high-speed rail project, said the money should go instead to Amtrak’s busy but aging Northeast Corridor, which serves the nation’s most densely populated region.
“Given that there are over 11.4 million Amtrak riders and over 200 million commuters that use the Northeast Corridor every year, it would be an investment in an area where we have proven ridership,” Denham said at a hearing at the site of the future Moynihan Station in New York, which is intended to replace the cramped Penn Station across the street….
“I believe the $6 billion that was given to the California High-Speed Rail Authority could be better spent on such upgrades, as these projects are both clearly identified, and necessary beyond dispute,” Denham said.
What a bunch of nonsense. The federal government has the ability to easily pay for the entirety of the California high speed rail project, the NEC upgrades, and a whole bunch of other projects. Republicans refuse to do so simply because they don’t want to tax the rich.
That’s bad enough. But by proposing to move the California HSR money from the next county over to the Northeast Corridor, Denham is saying to his constituents that they don’t deserve to have jobs, that people in New Jersey and New York should have those jobs instead. His district has an unemployment rate of around 14%, and an HSR project just a few miles down Highway 99 would provide a big jobs boost to people living in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.
California’s Republican Congressional delegation is openly siding against California jobs, California infrastructure, and California’s future. No wonder they lost so many seats there last fall. With attitudes like Denham’s they’re likely to lose a few more seats, perhaps including his own.