Saturday, September 12, 2009

Republicans Oppose Mass Transit Construction Earmarks

Republican Senators have filed over 50 proposed amendments to the $122 billion Transportation, Housing and Urban Development FY 2010 appropriations bill, attacking every mass transit earmark attached to the legislation. Many of the projects under attack can hardly be characterized as pork barrel work, including $ 85 million for extension of the Washington, D.C. Metro to Dulles airport, $30 million for the Honolulu High Capacity Transit Corridor project, and $75 million for Houston North Corridor Light Rail Transit project. One amendment would prohibit use of federal funds to pay for signs on construction projects announcing that the work is being paid for with stimulus appropriations. Huh?

I can't say whether this onslaught is the result of Republican hatred for mass transit, or Republican hatred for Democratic Congressmen who sponsor these entirely worthy projects. Either way hundreds of millions of badly needed construction project dollars are being held up by political bickering in Washington when the projects are shovel ready and the hard hats are in desperate need of the work.
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