Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) authored an amendment to prohibit any federal transportation dollars from being used for the Cincinnati streetcar project. The amendment was offered Wednesday night during debate on the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2013, and was passed by a voice vote.
"My amendment is about priorities," Rep. Chabot said. "The total cost of the streetcar is expected to be well over $120 million for a four mile loop connecting only two Cincinnati neighborhoods with little to no positive impact on traffic congestion, freight, or our aging infrastructure. This project is far from a necessity while projects of high priority like the Brent Spence Bridge and I-71 MLK interchange are left on hold."
The amendment itself is only 25 words and would stop in its tracks the federal grant money sought by the city of Cincinnati for the streetcar project. The primary funding for this project came in the form of an Urban Circulator Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for $25 million. Then, earlier this year, city of Cincinnati officials were on Capitol Hill seeking even more federal assistance.
"This nation cannot continue to spend money it doesn't have," Rep. Chabot said. "Now, more than ever, we need to be pragmatic in our approach to transportation, ensuring that every dollar spent represents a long-term investment that will improve the flow of commerce and create American jobs."