Democratic lawmaker attempts to restore transit funding to House transportation bill

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“To eliminate transit’s dedicated funding stream and relegate funding to the political machinations of the appropriations process is, effectively, to kill transit funding," he continued. "In 1982, President Reagan raised the gas tax and added mass transit to the Highway Trust Fund. He certainly believed that mass transit deserved stable funding. It has worked well for the last three decades, and there is no reason to change it now.”

Nadler's office said his amendment was co-sponsored by Reps. Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio), Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerTrump threatens to double down on Portland in other major cities Federal agents deployed to Portland did not have training in riot control: NYT US attorney calls for investigation into unmarked federal agents arresting protesters in Oregon MORE (D-Ore.), Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), Bob Turner (R-N.Y.), Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), John Lewis (D-Ga.), Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) and D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D).

In addition to restoring the Highway Trust Fund's mass transit account and restoring the gas tax funding to it, Nadler's amendment would set aside $40 billion of the transportation bill's $260 billion for public transportation.

Transportation advocates and civil-rights groups have opposed cutting the dedicated funding for public transportation, arguing it is an attack on transit.

"The late-hour move to revoke a promise to transit riders made under President Ronald Reagan is surely a historical low point in transportation policy-making in this country,” Transportation for America Director James Corless said in a statement earlier this month.

The Washington, D.C.-based Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights added last week that cutting public transit funding would cause a violation of the rights of minorities.

"Communities of color, low-income Americans and people with disabilities will be disproportionately impacted since they are the most transit dependent communities and negotiate their daily lives on mass transportation to reach employment, health care, and educational centers," the coalition said in a letter to lawmakers.