I’ve gotta say, I find this rather amusing.
Gov. Bob McDonnell said Monday that the state would not contribute $150 million to the construction of the rail extension to Dulles International Airport, despite pleas for more money from the board of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) asked [Transportation Secretary Ray] LaHood to urge McDonnell to provide state funding for the project to help reduce the financial burden on Dulles Toll Road commuters.
Connolly said Monday that he is “disappointed” that McDonnell said the state would not contribute money to the project.
“They are the only party that has not contributed,” he said. “The state is getting a free ride here. The time has come for the state to put up or shut up.”
I mean, I’m not a huge fan of the way the Metro-to-Dulles project has been handled (no-bid deal for Bechtel, no tunnel in Tysons Corner, etc.), but at this point, what are we going to do, let the entire thing die? Is Bob McDonnell really willing to let this project go down the tubes, or let northern Virginia fend for itself, and to heck with the consequences? That’s certainly what it looks like right at the moment. As Rep. Connolly said recently – “The only partner that has not yet made a serious financial commitment to this effort is the Commonwealth of Virginia.” What’s up with that? In addition, as Connolly pointed out, “[b]oth Gov. McDonnell and Sec. Connaughton have expressed rhetorical concern for the burden placed on Northern Virginia’s Dulles Toll Road users, but now is the time for all of the partners to go beyond rhetoric.”
Finally, I’d note that if Virginia really has the supposed budget “surplus” McDonnell’s so fond of bragging about, you’d think he’d have a few bucks to spare on this crucial project for northern Virginia. Or maybe all that “surplus” talk was a big lie, as we’ve long argued, and as David Axelrod pointed out back in early May on Meet the Press? Hmmmm.