How Much Have We Lost?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

$150 Million for U.S. 1 Dies in the U.S. Senate

Last week, the funds secured by Congressman Jim Moran died when the U.S. Senate refused to pass a cloture motion on a supplemental defense appropriations bill. I previously wrote about these funds in these articles:


These funds were going to be used to widen U.S. 1 between Telegraph Road and Woodlawn Road and build a new ramp from I-95 to the Engineering Proving Ground. This was to help with the existing and coming traffic due to the opening of the expanded Dewitt Hospital, the opening of Mulligan Road, opening of the National Geospatial Intelligence Headquarters, and to help and other personnel transfers to Fort Belvoir as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC).

I spoke to Congressman Moran on Tuesday and to describe him as frustrated is an understatement. Hundreds of hours by dozens of people went into this effort and it was basically scuttled due to the excessive partisanship that frequently precedes federal elections.

This money may come back, but it will require entirely new legislation and a new appropriation, and the entire process is now delayed by at least six months.
Congressman Moran should be commended for his efforts. He fought hard for this money and will continue to fight to make this happen. He is a true partner when it comes to focusing on U.S. 1 infrastructure improvements.

2 comments:

  1. Whatever business does transportation funding for US1 have in a defense appropriations bill.

    Congressman Moran should be frustrated at a need to hide earmarks in supposedly must-pass bills. Our congressmen should be fighting AGAINST this type of supplemental.

    If he's a true patriot who sees funding for US1 as a priority, he should push for it in an appropriate bill.

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  2. Good to see you back Amcit!

    Actually, the $150M was part of a $300M earmark secured to deal with transportation consequences created by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC). $150M was for US 1 and $150M was for Walter Reed up in Bethesda. It was originally earmarked in an earlier defense appropriations bill, but it needed to be transferred into a different account so that it could be transferred to a state transportation agency - this last bill would have accomplished that (the money was already appropriated, just in an account where it couldn't be spent).

    It actually wasn't hidden or non-defense related.

    Our federal electeds also recently pointed out that there are still about $1.4B of unfunded NOVA transportation needs created by BRAC that the federal government has not funded. Here's an article about it from Friday - http://bit.ly/dBCKvL

    From my point of view, this is exactly the kind of thing that earmarks should be used for.

    I guess we can agree to disagree.

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