Maloney: GOP Transportation Financing Bill “Isn’t Worth a Warm Bucket of Asphalt”

Feb 3, 2012
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) today expressed her strong opposition to H.R. 3864, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Financing Act of 2012.  This legislation would, among other provisions, strip mass transit programs of the guaranteed funding they currently receive from the Highway Trust Fund, which is funded by the federal gasoline tax.  The Republican proposal would instead make mass transit funding entirely dependent on the annual appropriations process, introducing uncertainty that could make it more difficult to finance transit projects.  

The House Ways and Means Committee voted today to approve H.R. 3864, which sets the funding levels for the five-year federal transportation reauthorization bill (H.R. 7) that was approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee early this morning.

Currently, 2.86 cents out of the 18.4-cent-per-gallon federal gasoline tax go to funding mass transit projects around the country.

“This bill isn’t worth a warm bucket of asphalt,” Maloney said.  “Making mass transit funding entirely dependent on the appropriations process would put politics in the way of building the 21st-century infrastructure we need to be competitive in the global economy.  

“The MTA receives more than $1 billion every year in funding from the Highway Trust Fund - but if this proposal were to become law, the federal government would be walking away from its longstanding practice of providing a dedicated funding stream for the nation's largest public transportation provider.  Federal transit funding is absolutely essential to ensure that the MTA's system continues to be safe and reliable for the long term.

“This provision will never get through the Senate and may not even pass the full House – so I urge my colleagues to go back to the drawing board and come up with a bill that maintains guaranteed funding for mass transit.  From job creation, to the nation’s credit rating, and now to transit, there is apparently nothing the Republicans won’t try to hold hostage to score political points.”