Saturday, June 27, 2009

Steny Hoyer (D) blames Reagan for DC Metro crash

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md, is using the fatal D.C. Metro accident to slam the Reagan administration for failure to adequately fund public transportation a quarter-century ago.

Yet the accident occurred despite the fact that Congress ignored Reagan and funded Metro anyway, pointed out.

Hoyer was asked during a press briefing Tuesday about the role of Congress in remedying the safety problems that have plagued Washington’s Metrorail system – and about a 2006 National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report outlining the inability of some subway cars to survive catastrophic crashes.

Hoyer said he was aware of the report, reported.

“I want to say that to the extent that that contributed to the injuries and the loss of life here, we need to look at that and that will be obviously impetus for making these cars safer,” Hoyer said. “As you know, it’s been 30 years, and as you know, the Reagan administration recommended no further money towards mass transit.”

Hoyer then went on to describe his interpretation of Reagan administration mass transit policy.

“Congress did not adopt that recommendation,” Hoyer said, adding that Congress chose to provide funds anyway.

“In fact, Metro has received probably more federal funds than any other metro system in the country,” he said.

Despite criticizing the 40th president’s stance on federal funding, Hoyer admitted he was not ready to conclude that a lack of resources might have contributed to the accident.

“We don’t know yet whether this was a human error, computer error, (or) equipment error,” he said, “all of which are, I suppose, possible.”


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