Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sen. Feinstein to withhold support of USDOT nominees until funding is released for Caltrain modernization project

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A graph showing where and how many jobs will be created through the Caltrain electrification project. A graph showing where and how many jobs will be created through the Caltrain electrification project. Caltrain

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said she would not support any U.S. Department of Transportation nominee until funding for Caltrain's electrification project is released.

 

The Senate is scheduled to vote on the Jeffrey Rosen's nomination as deputy secretary of transportation on May 16.

Sen. Feinstein said, "I intend to oppose confirmation for every Transportation Department nominee until the Trump administration releases funding for the Caltrain Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project (PCEP)."

Congress approved an omnibus spending deal on April 30, which included $100 million for Caltrain PCEP. Caltrain says approval of the 2017 budget and future execution of a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) by the Federal Transit Administration would make more than 25 percent of Caltrain's total $647 million federal funding request immediately available to start construction of the project.

An FFGA was recommended in January following a full assessment of the project's merits. However, the decision was delayed by the Trump Administration while the 2018 budget recommendations were being developed.

"Despite approval from Congress, the administration continues to withhold funding without any rational justification—wasting almost $1 million a week and jeopardizing 10,000 jobs nationwide. It is long past time for the administration to release the Caltrain corridor funding," added Sen. Feinstein.

Caltrain took to one of the president's favorite public platforms, Twitter, on May 16 to address the lack of an FFGA by tweeting, "We've got this great train project out here, @realDonalTrump. Creates 9600 #USJobs across #America. Sign the FFGA & Let's get to work."

The tweet was accompanied by the graphic above, which shows how many and where in the U.S. the Caltrain project will directly and indirectly create jobs.