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Rep. Marc Molinaro wants House hearing on NYC congestion pricing pause

U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro requested the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to hold a field hearing in New York to address Gov. Kathy Hochul’s decision to pause congestion pricing, according to a letter from the congressman on Tuesday.


Hochul cited affordability concerns that are a top issue for New York voters for her surprise announcement to delay the implementation of New York City's congestion pricing plan last week. Hochul’s plan dropped on the day before what should be the scheduled end of the 2024 legislative session, leaving some frustrated.


"Governor Hochul’s decision to pause the flawed plan was strictly for political purposes and now leaves a billion-dollar gap in the state’s budget, leading Governor Hochul to look to take taxpayer dollars from across the state, not just New York City. The pause in the congestion pricing plan also begs the question of whether federal dollars were used in the planning and other aspects of the plan,” Molinaro, a Republican, said in a statement. “Since Governor Hochul is running from New Yorkers and the media, I’m pushing for answers. A field hearing will allow Congress to conduct oversight and deliver accountability.”


Molinaro represents New York's 19th Congressional District, which stretches from Tompkins County in the west to Rensselaer County in the east.


Back in 2019, congestion pricing was passed as part of New York’s over $175 billion state budget package and signed into law by then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo.


The full text of Molinaro's letter can be found below.


"Dear Chairman Graves and Subcommittee Chairman Rick Crawford, 


As I’m sure you know, New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced she is pausing the Central Business District Tolling Program, also known as the New Yock City congestion pricing plan. Governor Hochul’s decision to pause the plan was strictly for political purposes as she was advised by House Minority Leader Jeffries that the unpopularity of the program was impacting competitive Congressional races in New York for Democrats. 


 The decision to temporarily pause the flawed plan now leaves a billion-dollar gap in the state’s budget, leading Governor Hochul to look to take taxpayers dollars from across the state, not just New York City. The pause in the congestion pricing plan also begs the question of whether federal dollars were used in the planning and other aspects of the plan. Not to mention, this project was approved by the Federal Highways Administration (FHWA). 


As a result of Governor Hochul’s disastrous political play, I request the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit hold a field hearing in New York and invite Governor Hochul and FHWA Administrator Shailen Bhatt to address many unanswered questions about the extent of federal dollars used, the future of the program, and whether Upstate New Yorkers will be forced to bear the costs of this egregious case of executive incompetence."

Yorumlar


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