Dulles Airport officials request more federal money for DC MetroRail expansion

Reiley noted to the paper that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has said repeatedly that the expansion of the Washington's public transit system to Dulles Airport was “one of the most important” transportation projects in the country.

“We’re saying to him: We agree, so show us the money,” she said.

LaHood became involved in the project earlier this summer when airport leaders and officials from Virginia's Fairfax and Loudoun counties could not agree on whether a station at Dulles Airport should be above or below ground.

Airport officials wanted the new station at Dulles to be built underground, arguing that would allow it to be placed closer to the main terminal. Northern Virginia officials, whose constituents are paying for the extension, pointed out that the underground station would cost $330 million more to build than an above-ground stop.

LaHood brokered a deal that saw airport officials agree to build the station above ground to trim costs of the project.

LaHood attempted the mediation, saying at the time that the federal government would not be "a cash cow" for the project.

Plans call for the first leg of the Dulles expansion, which has been informally dubbed the Silver Line, to open in 2013, just as Virginia's new senator would be taking office. The second leg of the route, which would go to Dulles Airport, is currently scheduled to open in 2016.