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An Illusory Plan To Fund Transit At Current Levels

(Mr. DeFAZIO asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio

legislator photo

Ronald Reagan signed legislation that funded transit out of the highway trust fund. The new Republican majority is going to end transit's eligibility for highway trust fund dollars--but they've created an alternative transportation account that will be paid for out of the general fund. The only problem is that paying for transit at current levels under an alternative scenario would blow another $40 billion hole in the budget.

But they have a plan.

They're going to require Federal employees to pay 6 percent of their salaries into a trust fund. That's about $40 billion over 5 years. But they're not taxing Federal employees to pay for transit--don't worry about that--because that money can't be spent on transit. It will make it look like they're not spending more money. In reality, they will borrow $40 billion to pay for transit instead of paying for it with your fees out of the highway trust fund, but they're going to pretend that they didn't add more money to the deficit. At the same time, they're going to make Federal employees put 6 percent of their salaries into a trust fund for this illusory offset.

Good work, guys.