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Schumer amendment in Senate could boost transit funding

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UPDATED: Sen. Schumer has the release posted on his web site now. Copy updated to reflect that below. Coverage of the Grand Central press conference today from Bloomberg News

Sen. Chuck Schumer and fellow New York Congressman Rep. Jerrold Nadler released a statement today detailing Sen. Schumer’s amendment to increase funding for transit in that chamber’s version of the economic recovery package. (Rep. Nadler authored the amendment that passed the House last week.)

Sen. Schumer’s amendment would boost transit funding from $8.4 billion up to $14.9 billion, with additions to the vital program (New Starts) that would provide funding for new, ready-to-go transit projects across the country. Currently, the House version has $2.5 billion for New Starts, where the Senate version has zero. This amendment would correct this imbalance, while also boosting the overall amount for transit.

You can read the full release here. An excerpt:

“Last week, we scored a major victory in Washington, as the House of Representatives approved my amendment to increase transit funds in the stimulus bill by $3 billion, bringing the total amount of transit dollars in the package from 9 billion to 12 billion. This additional funding would mean hundreds of millions more in transit money for New York, creating thousands of local jobs, protecting our environment through green projects, and improving public transportation across the region. These funds would go a tremendous distance toward stemming the advance of our deepening economic recession. And now, with the support of Senator Schumer in the Senate, we have taken one great step closer to realizing this essential goal.”

Schumer’s amendment would boost funding in the Senate version of the stimulus package by $6.5 billion, from $8.4 billion currently in the bill to $14.9 billion. Specifically, Schumer’s amendment would increase funding in the transit capital pot from $8.4 billion to 10.4 billion, add $2 billion for rail modifications, and $2.5 billion for New Starts. The last two funding increases would match funding in the House bill.

Contact your Senator today to send a message. Tell them to support increased transit funding — and Sen. Schumer’s amendment — in the Senate package.

Let them know that this is exactly the kind of spending you want to see in the stimulus package — spending that can boost the economy while investing in long-lasting infrastructure that will help us meet our national goals of improved infrastructure, less oil dependence, and lower emissions.

You can check back here or with Streetsblog NYC for more breaking news on the Schumer amendment and transit funding in the Senate bill.