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Full amendment from Steve Chabot

The following is the amendment written by Rep. Steve Chabot:

Mr. Chairman—This nation cannot continue spending money it doesn't have.  It is imperative that Congress end the borrow-and-spend mentality that created our staggering national debt, and put our nation on a sustainable path to a balanced budget.  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.

My amendment this evening is about priorities.  The city of Cincinnati has been in the planning process of constructing a streetcar for years now.  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.  Earlier this year, City of Cincinnati officials came to my office looking for even more funds for the Cincinnati Streetcar project.  The total cost is expected to be well over $120 million for a 4 mile "loop" connecting only two Cincinnati neighborhoods with little to no  positive impact on traffic congestion, freight, or our aging infrastructure.  Far from a necessity, the Cincinnati Streetcar is a luxury project that our nation and our region simply cannot afford. 

Imprudent and irresponsible spending of taxpayer dollars on discretionary projects like this must stop. For too long, taxpayers have been footing the bill for frivolous projects that reap little to no benefit. Much like the, "bridge to nowhere," this, "streetcar to nowhere" is yet another instance of wasteful government spending.

My amendment simply says – no more – no more funding for this streetcar in my district. 

Unlike the Cincinnati streetcar project, however, there are a number of other infrastructure projects that are of high priority and far more worthy of federal infrastructure investment.  In particular, there are two ready-to-begin projects that would have a direct impact on Cincinnati's economy and create permanent jobs: replacing the Brent Spence Bride and completing the I-71 MLK interchange. 

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