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 ComstockThis week: Time running out for Congress to avoid shutdown Republicans seek to distance themselves from Trump remarks Trump allies see 's---hole' controversy as overblown 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.

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 ChaoDecline in US travel spurs business push for visitors Overnight Regulation: Dems claim 50 votes in Senate to block net neutrality repeal | Consumer bureau takes first step to revising payday lending rule | Trump wants to loosen rules on bank loans | Pentagon, FDA to speed up military drug approvals Trump’s first year in office was the year of the woman 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.