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The Blame Game

Anita Kumar

Today, Gov. Tim Kaine blamed U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor for doing his part in closing 18 of the state's highway rest stops last week due to a budget shortfall.

On his monthly radio program on WRVA in Richmond and the Virginia News Network, Kaine accused Cantor (a frequent foe of Kaine's friend, President Barack Obama) of encouraging Republican members of the House Appropriations Committee to vote against a Kaine request that would allow private businesses to operate rest stops.

Federal law specifies that the rest areas must be run by the state, but Kaine was seeking a waiver as part of a last-minute effort to prevent the rest stops from closing. U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R) supported the waiver and offered the amendment.

"The solution is easy and won't cost a penny,'' Kaine said.

The decision to close the rest stops -- made by the Commonwealth Transportation Board -- has garnered quite a bit of attention in recent weeks. All of it bad. No wonder politicians are blaming each other for the closures.

Updated: Cantor does not sit on that committee and members of the Virginia delegation deny that he worked against the amendment. "Chairman Kaine's rash decision to close the rest stops has raised serious safety concerns, especially in rural communities,'' said Brad Dayspring, a Cantor spokesman. "Congressman Cantor believes that instead of politicizing this issue, we should work toward a smart solution that addresses the safety concerns of Virginians in rural communities and is efficient for all residents of the Commonwealth."

By Anita Kumar  |  July 30, 2009; 4:32 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Eric Cantor , Timothy M. Kaine  
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