NY Republicans call on McConnell to provide $3.9B in additional MTA funding

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Eighteen New York Republicans, including close allies of President Trump like Reps. Lee Zeldin and Elise Stefanik, signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) calling for an additional $3.9 billion in funding for the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) in the next round of stimulus.

Although the CARES Act provided about $4 billion to the public transit system, the Thursday letter states, the sum is not enough to cover its needs.

“New York has been the epicenter of this crisis in the United States,” the letter states. “The essential workers on the frontlines who have rightly received so much praise and appreciation depend on mass transit to get to their critical jobs. Healthcare providers, pharmacists, first responders and grocery store workers cannot be left stranded at the time when they’re needed most.”

Other signers of the letter include Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and New York City Councilman Joe Borelli (R) an honorary state chair for the president’s 2020 campaign, as well as John J. Flanagan and Will Barclay, the Republican leaders in the state Senate and Assembly.

“The MTA’s financial future is at risk without federal relief. COVID-19 has blown a massive hole in its budget. The global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. estimates the full 2020 impact to be between $7 billion and $8.5 billion due to massive revenue losses caused by disappearing ridership and the evaporation of state and local taxes that support the MTA,” the letter states. “The agency has run out of avenues for support. Without assistance from Washington, the only option left for repayment of the MTA’s debt is fare and toll hikes. We can’t put this burden on our constituents when so many have lost their jobs.”

In addition to its financial shortfalls, the pandemic has forced the MTA to make unprecedented procedural changes, including temporarily ending 24-hour subway services to disinfect trains between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said in April that during the pandemic, ridership on the subway, a major vector of virus transmission in the city, was down 92 percent.

Tags Andrew Cuomo Coronavirus Donald Trump Elise Stefanik Joe Borelli Lee Zeldin Mitch McConnell MTA New York New York subway Peter King

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