On Friday the Democrats unveiled their most recent version of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief legislation that the Biden Administration has been promising since “Day One”.
Recall that Nancy Pelosi blocked all efforts by the Trump Administration to pass such legislation prior to the election for the purpose of preserving suffering by Americans as a Democrat party issue.
“No sacrifice is too great for the American public to endure if it means getting more Democrats elected to office.” That’s straight from the Democrat Party Platform at the DNC telethon back in July — I’m sure I read it in there somewhere.
On Day 31 of the Biden Administration, we get the 591-page bill that the Democrats are proposing to enact into law. Buried in the text of the legislation is a section from the House Transportation Committee (Sec. 7006) to fund $30 billion for transit systems to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus,” with funds earmarked for operating costs and capital investments to various transit systems around the country.
To “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus”.
The bill funds $1 billion for projects under Section 3005(b) of Public Law 114-94, the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.” That section created a pilot program to fast-track federal funds on projects meeting certain specifications and has been used in applications for funding the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Silicon Valley project.
According to a Fox Business review of the allocation formula featured in the COVID-19 bill and other related documents, the new “RELIEF” bill would provide BART with around $112 million in funding for continuing the 6.5-mile extension from its current terminus in Milpitas down to San Jose then back northwest to the City of Santa Clara. The extension would include three underground stations and one at-grade station at its new terminus in Santa Clara City.
If you don’t have a grasp on the geography of the Northern California Bay area, understand that the BART line which runs south from downtown San Francisco ends at the San Francisco Airport — about 20 miles north of the start of Silicon Valley which is in the general vicinity of Palo Alto, where Stanford University is located.
There is a BART line that runs south out of the East Bay — the Oakland side of San Francisco Bay. In June 2020, an extension of that line opened that now takes BART passengers to a point between San Jose and the town of Milpitas to the north.
But geographic space between the Cities of Santa Clara and Palo Alto is considered the “heart” of Silicon Valley. Santa Clara is to the northwest of San Jose, and on the west side of the San Jose Airport.
So, what those poor underserved souls in Silicon Valley really need is an extension of the new BART line down and around the San Jose Airport, and then back up north to the City of Santa Clara.
The yellow line is the 6.5 mile BART extension just getting underway — and that the COVID “RELIEF” bill just made public by the Democrats provides over $100 million to help fund.
This payment would be the third installment of federal funds that have already been allocated by the Department of Transportation to the BART extension project. The funding would normally take place in the regular appropriation process along with funding for other transportation projects across the country that have been granted federal funds.
But Silicon Valley is the key source of funding for Democrat Party campaign efforts, and when Silicon Valley wants the Democrats to deliver, they get what they want. They are like debt collectors for loan sharks – they don’t care how the money gets paid, they want it paid right now.
If Pelosi says to stick the money in the COVID relief bill, then they stick the money in the COVID relief bill.
GOP leadership in the House is recommending that caucus members vote “No” on the legislation. House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) sent an email to colleagues that was obtained by The Hill, which called the draft bill “Pelosi’s Payoff to Progressives Act.”
“It’s clear Democrats have no interest in approaching COVID relief in a timely and targeted fashion and are instead using the reconciliation process to jam through their liberal wish list agenda.”
Nothing says let’s “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus” quite like providing an underground train ride for Silicon Valley executives.