The Corner

Porkbusting on the Hill Today

These guys deserve cheering on:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) today questioned whether providing a $1.5 billion earmark to Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) should be federal priority.  The earmark – included in the National Capital Transportation Amendments Act of 2005 (H.R. 3496) – is seven times larger than Alaska’s Bridge to Nowhere and one of the largest in American history according to the Heritage Foundation.  Hensarling will oppose passage of H.R. 3496. 

“At a time when our nation is engaged in a war against terrorism abroad and faces a growing fiscal crisis at home, the federal government should not be handing a $1.5 billion bailout to the DC Metro System,” said Hensarling, Chairman of the Republican Study Committee’s Budget and Spending Taskforce. “Proponents of this bill say this money is for rails.  The fact of the matter is that taxpayers are getting railroaded to pay for provincial pork.”

This legislation is the textbook example of an earmark, grabbing money from the pocketbooks of hard working Americans to hand over a billion dollars to the residents of a single metropolitan area.  The funds will be used for such questionable items as new rail cars and buses, “pedestrian station connections,” and bus corridor improvements.  Congress has authorized funding for WMATA three times for a total of $6.2 billion since its inception, most recently for $1.3 billion in 1990.”

“Hard working taxpayers across the country should not be forced to provide a free lunch for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority,” said Hensarling.  “This is a matter of priorities.  I think we all can agree that providing bullets and body armor for our brave men and women in harm’s way is more of a priority than building a ‘pedestrian station connection’ so that Metro riders can take 20 fewer steps on their way to work.” 

Last month, Hensarling and Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) sent a letter to the House Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House questioning the subsidy. 

 

Hensarling is the author of the Family Budget Protection Act, a comprehensive budget reform package that will fix the budget process, curb the growth of government spending and balance the federal budget in 5 years without raising taxes. 

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