A full week ago, we noted in this blog post that FTA New Starts funding has been targeted by House Republican leaders for potential deficit reduction. We further noted that such cuts could seriously jeopardize NEW METRO’s light-rail expansion plans, both in terms of the organization’s ongoing liquidity issues and in terms of the 2003 referendum requirements (specifically, section 14).
Lo and behold, the area newspaper of record has finally discovered today that FTA New Starts funding has been targeted by House Republican leaders for potential deficit reduction (which could seriously jeopardize NEW METRO’s light rail expansion plans)! There are still no updates on METRO’s liquidity ratio, nor are there any comments from U.S. Rep. John Culberson.
But we do learn from the Chronicle that NEW METRO is already dealing with the potential problem in an OLD METRO fashion (get out the money catapult!):
The Metro board has just hired the C2 Group, a lobbying firm adept at pitching mass transit to members of Congress.
And there’s also a priceless quote from Sen. John Cornyn:
“I certainly know the popularity of Metro in Houston and the importance of investing in transportation infrastructure,” says Sen. John Cornyn, R-San Antonio, a member of the Senate Budget Committee. “But at the same time, we have to say there’s no money left. Everybody is going to have to suffer a little pain to get the country back on a sound financial footing.”
Ah yes, the popularity of METRO. Good one. The Chronicle may have been a week late, but at least they tossed a little humor our way.