Some nice news tonight: Representative Jerry Nadler’s amendment to the stimulus package cleared the House Rules Committee. The Nadler amendment would add $3 billion of funding to the transit stimulus — $1.5 billion for transit capital assistance, and $1.5 billion for New Starts — thus increasing the current $9 billion transit allocation to $12 billion. This would restore the $12 billion of transit funds envisioned in Jim Oberstar’s original proposal. The House of Representatives will vote swiftly whether to include the amendment, possibly as soon as Wednesday, January 28 at 12 noon EST. Please take this opportunity to contact your representative right away to express your support for the amendment, emphasizing how important it is that agencies receive adequate funding to accommodate increased demand for transit.
Also, as we noted before, the Senate’s version of the stimulus still needs work. The Senate version currently includes an additional $2 billion allocated to designated high-speed rail corridors — but compared to the House’s version, there is a net decrease in transit funds to $8.4 billion. More money is allocated to transit capital assistance, but funds are removed from New Starts and fixed guideway investment; and the Senate version includes no money for transit operation. So this is still a good opportunity to get in touch with your senators, encouraging them to act on a sound stimulus that also includes funds for operations.