House Nixes Funding for Transit Service. Where Is Schumer?

schumer_affordable.jpgChuck, what about keeping transit affordable?

Last night’s news about the denial of Rep. DeFazio’s amendment to fund transit operations left us wondering whether parliamentary issues were really the deciding factor. In general, it appears, the Democratic leadership is coming down hard against any add-ons to the recovery package. "There’s a desire to
keep the bill at the size it is currently," said one House staffer involved in the negotiations who wished to remain anonymous. "Pelosi’s office and the Appropriations Committee are resistant to
amendments that increase the size of the bill."

Now it’s up to the Senate to get this provision into the stimulus bill. Bus and subway riders all over the country need Chuck Schumer and rookie Kirsten Gillibrand to earn their keep on this one. New York’s Senate delegation has to come out strong for transit operations if American cities are going to stave off a wave of fare hikes and service cuts.

And wouldn’t it be nice to see MTA chief Lee Sander ride the train down to Washington and make the case for transit operations? This seems like a golden opportunity for the MTA CEO to campaign on behalf of straphangers and save the fare.

Meanwhile, as Sarah mentioned last night, the focus in the House now shifts to Jerrold Nadler’s proposal to add $3 billion for transit capital investments. The people to call today are Nancy Pelosi (202-225-0100) and Appropriations Chair David Obey (202-225-3365). The Speaker, especially, should be trying as hard as she can to make more room for transit investment if she wants to do right by her San Francisco district.

  • Rhywun

    And wouldn’t it be nice to see MTA chief Lee Sander ride the train down to Washington and make the case for transit operations?

    It would be even better if during such an unlikely scenario the train broke down or was otherwise delayed a couple hours…

  • tal

    This is going to be our major problem in the coming years.

    Our way of distributing money in washington is so broken it’s going to be unable to cope with the economic crisis.

  • Chuck’s too busy trying to make all his Wall Street benefactors whole.

  • MrManhattan
  • anonymous

    Meh, there’s always time for more spending bills!

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Schumer Proposes $6.5B More for Transit in Senate Stim Bill

|
Senator Chuck Schumer has unveiled an amendment to the Senate stimulus bill that would increase transit funding by $6.5 billion — to $14.9 billion overall. This would direct $2.9 billion more to transit, in total, than the House stimulus bill that passed last week. For the wonks out there, transit funding would break down like […]

Chuck Schumer on Transit: I’ve Got Your Back, Fairfield County

|
Schumer in Chautauqua. When was the last time you saw Chuck with a majestic cityscape behind him? New York’s senior senator threw suburban train riders a bone yesterday, announcing that he’s secured a tax break for transit commuters in the Senate version of the stimulus bill. The Daily News reports: The provision would raise the […]

Schumer, Labor Leaders Rally to Keep Buses and Trains Running

|
L-r: Senator Chuck Schumer, ATU Vice President Larry Hanley, TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen, and City Council transportation chair James Vacca. Photo: Ben Fried Senator Chuck Schumer joined a coalition of labor unions and transportation advocates at Penn Station today to call for emergency federal funding for the nation’s transit systems. The rally made […]

Tell Your Senator to Support Transit and Green Jobs, Not Highways

|
Update: Hold those phone calls, folks. Schumer has co-sponsored the Murray/Feinstein amendment, making it highly unlikely that he will offer his own, superior amendment. There are more amendments in the wings — supported by Senate Republicans and some surprising Democrats — that would give highway builders even greater leeway to build dirty, traffic-generating boondoggles. We’ll […]

Transit Stimulus Bill Needs Co-Sponsors in Senate

|
Two weeks ago, Hillary Clinton introduced a bill in the Senate to provide emergency funds for local transit agencies. Since then, the rest of the delegation from New York and New Jersey appears to have lined up behind the legislation. "We believe that Senators Schumer, Lautenberg, and Menendez support it," says Larry Hanley of the […]

Schumer Calls for Increased Transit Spending, Slams Christie

|
In a speech at a Crain’s breakfast this morning, Senator Chuck Schumer called for reinvesting in infrastructure, including repairs to New York’s existing transportation system and new transit projects. Schumer also blasted New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for killing the ARC tunnel and for his proposal to use Port Authority funds to pay for maintaining […]