Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA-10) issued the following statement after this evening’s release of the initial Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2018, which included the full $150 million annual federal funding obligation for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA):
“I am pleased that the Appropriations Committee has once again proposed to fulfill the commitment of $150 million in matched federal funding toward WMATA. This continued partnership between the federal government and states in the compact agreement was first affirmed by the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008. I will continue to work with Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle as the appropriations process unfolds to ensure Congress continues to meets its obligation. If federal funding were to falter, then matching contributions from the states in the compact agreement would be imperiled. Metro needs these critical resources for long overdue capital improvements that will address important safety issues and help purchase new Metro rail cars that will keep my constituents, residents of the D.C. metro area, commuters of the federal work force and visitors from across the country safe.”
“I thank Congresswoman Comstock for her insight and knowledge on the issues WMATA and consequently, its riders, face day to day,” said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies. Congresswoman Comstock has actively worked with her constituents to address the problems plaguing WMATA and how it impacts their daily lives. The transit system is in need of ongoing maintenance and effective safety programs to better serve the hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors who use it. I look forward to continue working with Congresswoman Comstock to ensure WMATA is adequately funded to provide safe and efficient service.”
In 2008, Congress voted to create a matching grant program through the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) by which Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia each contribute $50 million for Metro’s capital needs, which is then matched by $150 million in federal funds. Since then, Congress has passed in a bipartisan fashion appropriations bills to fulfill its financial obligation to Metro. In recent years, some members of Congress have attempted to cut this funding for Metro by as much as half, which would have crippled a recovering transit system. Since being sworn into Congress in 2015, Rep. Comstock has worked hand-in-hand with Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies, to provide the full $150 million federal share of funding for Metro. To view a list of other statements from Rep. Comstock on Metro funding, please click HERE.