Republicans take aim at billions set aside in stimulus bill for infrastructure and transport projects, including Amtrak, BART, and a bridge to Canada
- The $1.9 trillion stimulus plan passed by the House included funding for Amtrak and BART.
- About $1.5 billion would go to the Amtrak train system, Biden's favored mode of transport.
- Rep. Kevin McCarthy and other Republican lawmakers said some of the infrastructure spending was pork.
Billions from the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill passed by House lawmakers on Friday would go to transportation and infrastructure projects, including extending a subway in Silicon Valley, operating a bridge to Canada, and maintaining the nation's railway system.
In total, more than $40 billion would go to infrastructure and transportation projects, including about $30 billion to public transit, and about $8 billion to airports. Rep. Kevin McCarthy and other Republican lawmakers said some of that infrastructure spending was pork, calling attention to projects in the bill in areas represented by high-profile Democrats."This bill is actually too costly, too corrupt, and too liberal," McCarthy told Fox News.
Politifact, the fact-checking group at The Poynter Institute, said the Seaway funding had originally been requested by President Donald Trump's administration in May 2020.Also in the House bill was more than $100 million for an extension of the Bay Area Rapid Transit subway system in San Jose. The money would go toward connecting the BART subway line to Mineta San Jose International Airport, a "long-planned" route extension, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
—Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) February 24, 2021
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican, called the plan "Pelosi's Subway," although the construction would happen just south of Pelosi's district, as The San Jose Mercury News reported.The bill also had more than $1.5 billion for Amtrak, President Joe Biden's favorite mode of transportation. That funding included about $820 million for the Northeast Corridor, about $680 million for the national rail network, and about $166 million for long-distance service restoration and employee recalls, according to the text of the bill. Rep. Ben Cline added the Amtrak spending to his list of "the most egregious provisions unrelated to COVID" in the stimulus bill.
In a statement, Cline said: "Not only is this legislation riddled with wasteful spending unrelated to COVID and bailouts for blue states like New York and California, but with more than $1 trillion in previously authorized coronavirus funds still unspent, it is premature."
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