Thursday, April 5, 2007

Pat screws his DC neighbors

Thanks to Pat McHenry, much-needed improvements to the DC area Metro have been stalled in committee. Have you ever driven in DC? Without the Metro, I doubt even half of DC's workers could even get to work, much less get to work on time. Their roads are a mess.

But Patrick doesn't care. This is from the DCist

How Many Times Must We Say It: Metro is NOT Pork!
One of the most important parts of the Virginia transportation bill passed yesterday is the provision that dedicates about $50 million a year to Metro for 10 years. Virginia's contribution, along with similar contributions from both D.C. and Maryland are requirements of the massive $1.5 billion Metro funding bill being pushed by Reps. Tom Davis of Virginia and Steny Hoyer of Maryland. The District has already passed legislation that allocates the money (contingent on action by both of our neighbors) and Maryland's transportation secretary is working on funding options.

Since Davis proposed the bill in 2005, there has been a smattering of opposition (ably rebutted, we might add) from those who think investing in one of the region's most important assets is somehow wasteful. That baseless rhetoric came to a head last week, when Rep. Patrick McHenry, a baby-faced-yet-grey-haired Congressional sprite from North Carolina blocked the bill's passage out of committee on procedural grounds.

We wonder, if McHenry conducted an informal poll of his staff asking how they get to work each day, would he reconsider his position? We're guessing a survey of Hill staffers would quickly reveal that without Metro, the federal government would pretty much shut down. (Though McHenry is a Gingrich protégé -- could the new Republican strategy to reduce the size of government be to cut off its source of transportation? Has anyone ever seen Grover Norquist on Metro?) Either way, there are enough of these members on both sides of the aisle that Davis remains optimistic that the bill will be voted out of committee next month.

Nice guy, eh? Remember how much he was worried a few month's ago that the people of Western Samoa were left out of the stem cell research act? The stem cell research act that he voted against for you and me? Now, he's protecting us from helping the DC transit system. Gee, what a guy. Why do I get the feeling he just likes screwing with people?

I'm sure there's more to this than meets the eye. We'll be looking into it . . .

And next time you meet him, ask him why DC doesn't have its own representative in Congress. Could it be because that's a guaranteed Democratic seat? And here a good reason why they need one.

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