Comstock Statement on Inclusion of Full Funding for WMATA in Initial FY 2019 Appropriations Bill
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA-10) issued the following statement after the release of the initial Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019, which included the full $150 million annual federal funding obligation for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA):
“When we were presented with the prospects of the WMATA budget being $30 million short of the legal commitment, we went to work to ensure that money was restored. We worked with Subcommittee Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart, his staff, and our region’s stakeholders extensively to ensure that we achieved the full funding of $150 million. I made it clear that a 20% cut would be unacceptable given the agreement that was promised and impact it would trigger on our region jeopardizing additional dollars from the jurisdictions in the compact: Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. I appreciate the chairman’s work with us to keeping our commitment to the nation’s transit system.”
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.