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Posted at 8:56 AM ET, 02/14/2011

Updated: Warner: McDonnell's transportation plan is not 'fiscally conservative'

By Anita Kumar
Anita Kumar

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner said in an interview with WSLS television station that Gov. Bob McDonnell's (R) plan to pump nearly $3 billion in the state's roads over three years is not "fiscally conservative" and will not solve the state's transportation problems.

"This is not going to fix our transportation problem,'' Warner (D) said. "Even the governor acknowledges that. And by borrowing more now, the next governor is going to actually have even less transportation money because they've already bonded against the future federal dollars. We have helped a bit by this effort, but it's not a long term fix."

Warner, who served as Virginia governor, said the proposal, which has passed both the House of Delegates and Senate with Democratic support is not "the good classic Virginia way in terms of airing on the conservative side."

When reporter Jay Warren asked if the proposal was "fiscally conservative" Warner replied "it's not."

"You know, listen, there are different definitions,'' Warner said. "I mean, I just have to tell you, when I came in as governor, my predecessor had done much more extraordinary efforts. And we found that a lot of the road projects were basically bankrupt. That money was supposed to be there that wasn't there because it had been borrowed against others. And I don't think the governor is going that far, but I get a little worried when we think we can borrow our way out of problems."

Updated, 10:35 a.m. McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin responds: "We like and respect the Senator. Our two offices work well together,'' he said. "However, I don't know if the architect of the biggest tax increase in Virginia history is the best authority on what is, or is not, 'fiscally conservative.' Since we're having this conversation, it should be noted that Governor McDonnell's proposal will put $4 billion into transportation without raising taxes; As Governor, Mark Warner raised taxes by $1.5 billion and didn't put a penny into roads. Just something to note."

See the full interview:

By Anita Kumar  | February 14, 2011; 8:56 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Mark Warner, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate, Transportation  
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Finally. Someone who gets it!

Republicans don't seen to understand what paying your way means. Getting a loan out in the form of bonds just passes the debt down to the next generation.

McDonnell is a just a spender of money he doesn't have.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 14, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

this is what happens when you restrict governors to one term; they come up with plans that seem ok in the short term, but will become disasterous after the current governor leaves office.
mcdonnells road plan is as foolish as his failed abc plan.

Posted by: MarilynManson | February 14, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

What is Mark Warner doing to reduce federal spending on wasteful programs?

Posted by: ErikKengaard | February 14, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"...airing on the conservative side."

Do you think maybe the Senator actually said "...erring on the conservative side?"

Posted by: rashomon | February 14, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

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