Democrats' $1.9T Covid relief has over $100 million for transportation projects in N.Y., Calif.
A bridge in New York, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's home state, and a tunnel near House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's district receive funding in the stimulus bill.
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The $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill that the Democratic-led House is expected to vote on Friday contains millions of dollars in taxpayer funding for transportation projects in New York and California.
The bill allocates $1.5 million for the Seaway International Bridge in New York, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's home state. The bridge connects the U.S. with Canada over the St. Lawrence River. The Seaway International Bridge Corporation reportedly made the initial funding request for the project under previous Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
"We watched the swamp come back to Washington: $100 million for a tunnel in Silicon Valley just outside of Speaker Pelosi's district, or a bridge for Schumer, or money for schools that two-thirds of it cannot be spent until 2023," House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said. "This is the wrong path, and this is not what President Biden said he would do at the inaugural. Republicans want to work together as we have before, but unfortunately, the times have changed here."
Democratic Rep. Adriano Espaillat of New York told CNN that he's "not comfortable" with federal funding for those transportation projects being tucked into the COVID-19 stimulus legislation.
"In any bill that has $1.9 trillion, there will be one line that will probably be somewhat embarrassing," he said on Thursday. "I'm never comfortable with it, but I'll tell you what I'm comfortable with. I'm comfortable with the fact that the past initiative came from the Senate, and we had to adjust to them. This is the first time we had a vision that comes from us, from the House, and it's a robust vision."
The Democrats are moving the stimulus bill forward through budget reconciliation, which would allow them to pass it through the Senate without votes from Republicans.
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