U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), the Senate’s leading foe of wasteful government spending, is putting the brakes on some of the most egregiously wasteful government projects in existence. Ernst’s Put the Brakes on Boondoggles Act would pull the plug on federal taxpayer dollars for rail or transit projects that are more than $1 billion over budget and projected to lose money for more than a decade, like the infamous San Francisco Bay Area subway project.
“While Washington Democrats keep spending like there’s no tomorrow, American taxpayers shouldn’t be stuck with the bill for bottomless boondoggles that are already a billion dollars or more in the hole before even being completed and also expected to lose money every year after,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “It’s time to ‘put the brakes’ on the runaway taxpayer spending for some of the most egregiously wasteful government projects in existence.”
The Put the Brakes on Boondoggles Act cuts off any new federal financial assistance to a rail or transit project that is projected to go $1 billion or more over the original cost projection and to lose money annually for a decade or more.
Earlier this year, House Democrats tried to include an earmark costing more than $100 million into their partisan $2 trillion bill that would extend a subway from San Francisco to Silicon Valley. While approved by the House, the pork project was ultimately dropped after mounting public pressure. Still, the Federal Transit Administration has steered $225 million for the project to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) while the VTA has requested $1.7 billion the from the U.S. Department of Transportation to complete the subway. The subway system is expected to lose as much as $200 million a year over the next decade. Ernst’s Put the Brakes on Boondoggles Act would ensure this massive transportation boondoggle would not receive another federal taxpayer dime.
Ernst awarded her July 2021 Squeal Award to the Department of Transportation for the tax dollars it has already spent on the San Francisco Bay Area subway boondoggle.