House appropriators slated to cut transportation spending

Here’s the email from Metro CEO Art Leahy, sent yesterday to agency staffers:

Tomorrow, the full House Committee on Appropriations is scheduled to set its spending levels for government programs for the balance of Fiscal Year 2011. It is expected that the Chairman of the Committee, Harold Rogers (R-KY), will bring forward a spending proposal for federal transportation and housing programs that represents a 17% reduction from the present level of funding. The committee is addressing spending levels for the remainder of this fiscal year because in 2010 the House failed to pass its regular appropriations bills and is currently operating on a continuing resolution that expires on March 4, 2011. It is anticipated that the funding for the Transportation, Housing & Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill will be reduced to $56 billion from the Fiscal Year 2010 enacted level of $68 billion. Chairman Rogers commented on the cuts by releasing a statement, which reads, in part: “With this CR [continuing resolution], we will respond to the millions of Americans who have called on this Congress to rein in spending and help our economy grow and our businesses create jobs. It is my intention –and that of my Committee – to craft a responsible, judicious CR that will significantly reduce government spending, begin to get our nation’s finances in order so that the economy can thrive, and provide essential resources for our national security.”

3 replies

  1. Deeply outrageous — frankly, this is an attack on America’s economy and our gloabal competitiveness.

    Republicans like to talk about job killing bills — this is a job killer, if there ever was one.

    Transportation spending plays a vital role in both our short-term economic strength (from capital projects & transit operations that pay for jobs) and our long-term economic competitiveness.

    This represents nothing short of an attack on America’s future.

  2. Glad to see common sense beginning to prevail. Transportation projects like the purple line are temporary short-term “make work” programs, not longer-term growth engines. These projects should be evaluated from a long-term cost/benefit perspective, not for transient job benefit in the short-term.

  3. Marty, our Metro Rail lines are growth engines, much like our freeways. They give people a viable way to get to jobs – even faraway jobs. And they provide business with access to a larger labor pool. Without our Metro Rail lines, L.A. will only stagnate as congestion increasingly clogs our freeways.

    And yes, they also create jobs. Short-term construction jobs, and long-term transportation jobs. What’s wrong with creating jobs, in this economy where the local unemployment rate is 13%?