As you read this, congress is working to put together a $800 Billion+ Stimulus package to revive the nation’s economy.  As JM noted earlier this week, the stimulus is more of the same bureaucratic stupidity we’ve all grown accustomed to – tax incentives for vehicle purchases, at least $30 Billion for Highways, and a paltry $12 Billion for real transit.  Apparently some senators believe the transit allocation isn’t small enough and are trying to raid the transit allocations for increased highway spending.  Apparently our senators have a short memory – already forgetting the woes of this past summer when our gasoline powered economy began to crumble under $4+ gas prices.

Together with T4America, we urge our readers to contact their US senators and let them know that this is unacceptable.  Click here to find your Senator’s email address.   Follow this link or the link on our new sidebar –>

Via Greater Greater Washington:

According to the memo, they hope to cut $3.4 billion from public transit, but at the same time, are adding in more money for “additional transportation funding.” Presumably, if they’re cutting transit, that additional funding would go to roads. (It might be airports, I suppose, but I doubt it.)

They’re also cutting such items as Head Start, food stamps, child nutrition, firefighters, COPS hiring, NASA, and the CDC, while adding funding for defense operations and procurement.

The Senators reportedly in the room are Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mark Begich (D-AK), Tom Carper (D-DE), John Tester (D-MT), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Jim Webb (D-VA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Michael Bennett (D-CO), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Mark Udall (D-CO), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Mel Martinez (R-FL), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and George Voinovich (R-OH). We don’t know if all of them support these cuts or not (Carper is a big rail advocate, for example).

It gets worse.  Earlier today, the U.S. Senate voted to accept, by a vote of 73-24, an amendment offered by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) which states, “None of the amounts appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, art center, and highway beautification project.”

Update: Via Bike Portland:

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) introduced an amendment last night that would prohibit funding of “bicycle routes” and paths from the economic stimulus package that’s working its way through Capitol Hill right now.

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7 Responses to Action Alert: Contact your Senators, Stop the Raid on Transit Funding

  1. JM Palacios says:

    lol Gabe, that was my article, not Tony’s, that you linked to;-)

    I already sent my Senators a letter using the sidebar–that’s a pretty good tool. I even included a link to my post in the email. 😀


  2. Kevin says:

    I just wrote a letter to Mel Martinez.


  3. Mike Lydon says:

    Thanks all, keep up the pressure!


  4. Juan Felipe says:

    Check this out:

    “Congress Seeks Funding for High-Speed Rail Service From D.C. to N.Y.C.
    Posted by: News on Tuesday, December 23, 2008 – 08:00 AM
    The Transportation Department is requesting proposals for development of a high-speed rail service between Washington and New York City, a project that Congress hopes to get included in future infrastructure spending by the incoming Obama administration.

    Rep. John L. Mica (R-Fla.), the House’s chief proponent of high-speed rail, made the announcement yesterday at Washington’s Union Station. Provisions outlining government support for high-speed development were part of a sweeping railroad safety bill authored by Mica and Rep. James L. Oberstar (D-Minn.) and signed by Bush in October. —-

    Published by the Washington Post, December 16, 2008 ( —- ”

    According to this article, “the House’s chief proponent of high-speed rail” is Rep. John L. Mica (R-Fla.) of our 7th Congressional District ( Shouldn’t we be writing to him? Apparently, he fought for high-speed rail nationwide (thus inclusive of our own FHSR: I truly hope that we can get this and other projects rolling again. In order for this to happen, the new administration MUST take an about-face on failed policies and mismanagement of the past in regards to transit, and I know that if we voice our opinions we can make it happen. This past presidential campaign shows what a grassroots movement can accomplish but only when people become active…


  5. Faye says:

    Can anyone explain why there wasn’t any rail put into the stimulus plan for Florida?

    With all the talk about rail, I’m sure we had some shovel ready rail projects for Florida to request funding for in the stimulus.

    It’s all well and good that we have a so-called “chief proponent of HSR” in the House from FL, but it happened to be Sen. John Kerry who put 3 billion into the stimulus plan for HSR. The House version had no HSR in the stimulus at all.


  6. Blind Mind says:

    I contacted Bill Nelson. We need some serious help in Miami…


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