House Republican backs bill to overhaul DC Metro

House Republican backs bill to overhaul DC Metro
© Greg Nash

A House Republican is preparing to introduce legislation that would boost funding for Washington’s ailing Metro system in exchange for a series of reforms, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Rep. Barbara ComstockBarbara Jean ComstockElection Countdown: GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket | Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries | Parties fight for Puerto Rican vote in Florida | GOP lawmakers plan 'Freedom Tour' GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket Closing diversity gaps in patenting is essential to innovation economy MORE (R-Va.), the only Republican representing a district that uses the D.C. Metro, will file a bill to increase annual federal funding for the beleaguered transit agency to $225 million, up from $150 million per year.

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But the money would only be available if Metro establishes a five-member “reform board” that would have the authority to revise or void existing union contracts and impose limitations on pension and overtime pay.

Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoMcConnell: I won't be intimidated by protesters Protesters confront McConnell leaving Kentucky restaurant The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Wild night of primaries reshapes 2018 midterms MORE would select the board’s chairman, while D.C., Maryland and Virginia would each appoint a member. The fifth member would be picked from options recommended by Chao, according to the Post.

Under the bill, D.C., Maryland and Virginia also would have to raise their annual funding match for Metro, from $50 million each year to $75 million.

Lawmakers have long wrestled with how to fix the troubled Metro system, which has suffered from high-profile safety issues and major financial shortfalls in recent years. The transit agency is responsible for carrying a wide swath of the federal workforce.

Comstock, one of the most vulnerable Republicans up for reelection next year, spent nearly a year drafting the legislation, according to the Post.

But Democrats who support a funding boost for Metro are likely to oppose Comstock’s measure over the labor provisions.