The House Democrats’ $1.9 trillion special interest bailout bill, which masquerades as COVID relief legislation, allocates $112 million to a Silicon Valley underground rail project, Fox Business reported.
The House Transportation Committee tucked the graft for California into an obscure section that funds “all projects under section 3005(b) of Public Law 114-94 that received allocations for fiscal year 2019 and 2020” except “projects open for revenue service.”
Although the section’s vague language hides its true intent from the average citizen, Fox Business discovered that one project fits the description: the Bay Area Rapid Transit phase two expansion.
As with most government-funded projects, bureaucrats have been throwing money at the project’s plans for years without moving a shovel full of dirt.
Phase two of BART would involve digging a five-mile-long, four-lane-freeway-wide rail line 100 feet below the streets of San Jose, California, Mercury News reported.
Silicon Valley officials who oppose the project argue that it has already siphoned too much local sales tax revenue as cost estimates soar above their initial figures.
An initial estimate in 2018 forecast the project’s cost at $4.69 billion, but the latest estimate stands at $6.9 billion.
BART “sucks all the air out of the room for 10 years,” said Saratoga Mayor Howard Miller, arguing that the government will be left without funding for other functions, such as building and repairing roads.
The spokesperson for the Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee, which oversees transit projects, said the money should not be allocated in a so-called COVID relief bill.
“It doesn’t help one person get the vaccine or boost testing capabilities,” Steve Kelly said.
“This is just further proof that congressional Democrats view the reconciliation process as a means to push through their wish list—which includes forcing taxpayers to pay even more for an over budget and delayed construction project in one of the wealthiest regions in the country,” he said.