Press Releases

Beyer Questions Appropriations Bill that Would Cut Metro Funding

f t # e
Washington, May 13, 2015 | Tia Shuyler (202-225-4376) | comments
U.S. Representative Don Beyer objected to the House Appropriations Committee vote today to approve the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) spending bill that would cut a full third of Washington Metro Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) funding.
 
“We have already seen the tragic consequences of continuing to bleed the Metro system dry. Just this week we saw another arcing incident which, while thankfully no one was injured, left thousands of riders, shaken, stranded, and late for work. It is irresponsible for Congress to back out of its commitment to WMATA and will only serve to shift a greater burden to Virginia and Maryland’s local governments. I hope my colleagues will join me in restoring our full commitment to the nation’s Metro system,” Beyer said
 
Congress approved the Rail Safety Improvement Act in 2008 to provide WMATA with $1.5 billion over ten years at a rate of $150 million per year to make up for years of unfunded maintenance needs. Today’s vote advances a T-HUD bill that only funds two thirds of the federal commitment to Metro.
 
“Congress has a responsibility to the national capital region to honor its commitment to the Metro system,” said Rep. Beyer.  “In order to make the upgrades, new investment, and renovations needed to ensure rider safety on our trains full funding is critical. I appreciate the Committee’s recognition of the importance of this money, but their budget falls far short of compact Congress has made with the Washington Metro area.”
 
The Appropriations bill will now head to debate on the House floor.
f t # e