The message in this letter is simple: it asks House Republicans to preserve funding for New Starts, the federal program that helps local areas build transit projects. It’s the pot of money that Metro wants to tap to help pay for two key and pricey Measure R projects: the Westside Subway Extension and the Regional Connector.
The context for this letter: Republicans in the House of Representatives proposed recently to cut transportation funding in next year’s federal budget by 16 percent from last year’s spending and 36 percent below what President Obama asked for in his version of the 2012 budget.
Click on the letter below to see the entire document. Several local members of Congress signed it, including Karen Bass, Henry Waxman, Howard Berman, Laura Richardson, Judy Chu, Grace Napolitano, Brad Sherman and Xavier Becerra. Rep. Tom Latham is a Republican from Iowa and Rep. John Oliver is a Democrat from Massachusetts.