Rep. Comstock’s Statement on Rep. Connolly’s Metro Bill
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA) released the following statement after Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) released a Metro bill today:
“We worked on my Metro bill for over a year, getting input for the bill across the board from regional experts and stakeholders — from former DC Mayor Anthony Williams and Secretary Jim Dyke, former member of the Commonwealth Transportation Board, the WMATA board, and the Joint Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) Governance Review Task Force, both Democrats, to former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a Republican who conducted a study for former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, as well as over 30 chambers and regional business groups. This consensus bill gained broad support as a result of that process.
“The support for a Metro Reform Board earned broad bipartisan support from the Federal City Council, the Washington Board of Trade, former Mayor Williams, 30 regional Chambers and business groups, Secretary Dyke, and Secretary LaHood.
“Transitioning new employees to a 401k system from a costly pension system was advocated by current Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld and also earned support across the board from regional stakeholders, as did capping excessive overtime costs, and adding whistleblower protections for employees, and other defined reforms.
“It’s unfortunate that in the nine years it took Gerry Connolly to write an eight page bill, he failed to include any of the substantial management, financial or pension reforms advocated on a bipartisan basis by numerous transportation experts and Metro advocates who have been working for years to seriously improve and reform the system. Throwing billions more at Metro without defined reforms is a dead on arrival strategy. In addition, imposing a new regional tax to fund a broken system has already been soundly rejected by elected officials in both parties in Virginia and Maryland.
“We will continue to work with the broad, bipartisan coalition of people and groups who have endorsed our reform bill and are committed to a 21st century Metro that operates safely, professionally and fiscally responsibly.”
To view more information on Congresswoman Comstock’s METRO Accountability and Reform Act which was introduced last month go here.