Senate Parliamentarian Blocks Pelosi From Putting $140 Million In Funding For Rail Project In Her District Into COVID Bill

Senate Parliamentarian Blocks Pelosi From Putting $140 Million In Funding For Rail Project In Her District Into COVID Bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suffered a big loss when the U.S. Senate rejected and removed a rail project near San Francisco from the relief bill.

The Senate parliamentarian ruled the $140 million for the project wasn’t allowed under the so-called Byrd rule, which both parties use to pass budget bills without needing 60 votes in the Senate.



“This is a wildly expensive proposal largely unrelated to the problem. About 9 percent of the money is in the health care space. Less than 1 percent of it deals with vaccinations,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

“We’ll be fighting this in every way that we can. It is my hope that at the end, Senate Republicans will unanimously oppose it,” McConnell added.

“This package should have been negotiated on a bipartisan basis like the last five bills were done. Instead, the new administration made a conscious decision to jam us, to do it one party only, to take advantage of the reconciliation process to try to achieve a whole lot of other items completely unrelated to COVID-19,” McConnell continued.

Other Republicans also sounded the alarm.

“This is the way Nancy Pelosi gets $140 million for her tunnel of love to Silicon Valley. The people of America deserve better,” said GOP Sen. John Barrasso.

“Joe Biden ought to go back to the speech that he gave at the inauguration. He ought to go back to how he campaigned on unity on bipartisanship,” Barrasso added.

In other words: Pelosi tried to include $140 million for a rail project in her district but it was axed after being called out by Republicans and the Senate parliamentarian.

This is why so many Americans can’t stand Congress. Why was this item in the bill in the first place?

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill is defending the project, claiming that mass-transit plummeted during the pandemic and needed taxpayer money to revive it.

“The Senate Parliamentarian has now ruled that the BART extension from San Jose to Santa Clara does not meet the requirements of the Byrd rule because it is part of a pilot project. Therefore, it will be removed from the reconciliation package,” Hammill said.

Hammill defended the original inclusion of the rail funds.

“COVID-19 had an immediate and overwhelming effect on all of our transportation systems and the millions of transportation and construction jobs associated with them,” he said.

“As part of the $30 billion in public transit support, the House included $1.425 billion to help dozens of major transit rail capital projects, including the BART extension from San Jose to Santa Clara,” he said.

In fact, Iowa GOP Rep. Ashley Hinson had introduced a motion to send the bill back to the budget committee in order to redirect the money from the BART expansion to mental health programs for students.

Hinson said the BART expansion is a “pet project” of Pelosi rather than urgent pandemic relief.

“This is Washington pork spending at its worst,” she said.

The House voted down Hinson’s amendment before passing the relief bill by a 219-212 vote.
Senate Parliamentarian Blocks Pelosi From Putting $140 Million In Funding For Rail Project In Her District Into COVID Bill
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