House leadership and the Ways and Means committee working on the five-year transportation spending bill have proposed eliminating guaranteed funding for the Mass Transit Account, while spending for highways would continue to receive protected funds for five-year spans. Funding for public transit systems would have to receive annual Congressional approval. “This incredible move would roll back 30-plus years of bipartisan federal transportation policy and reverse a decision made by President Reagan in the 1980s to fund our nation’s transit system out of a small share of gas tax revenues,” T4America’s Stephen Lee Davis writes.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood offered especially severe criticism today, labeling it the “worst transportation bill I’ve ever seen during 35 years of public service.” LaHood told Politico:
This is the most partisan transportation bill that I have ever seen. And it also is the most anti-safety bill I have ever seen. It hollows out our No. 1 priority, which is safety, and frankly, it hollows out the guts of the transportation efforts that we’ve been about for the last three years.