Muckraker: Grist on Politics

The House is expected to pass the stimulus bill this evening, and they’re currently debating amendments. There’s already some good news for greens: They just approved a $3 billion increase in funding for mass transit.

The amendment, proposed by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), brings the total for public transit to $14.6 billion. It was cosponsored by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), Rep. Michael McMahon (D-N.Y.), Rep. Keith Ellison (D, Minn.). Greater Greater Washington reports that Nadler said in his floor speech today that $1.5 billion of the funds will go to the transit capital formula program and $1.5 billion to the new starts program.

An amendment [PDF] from Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) to remove all funding for Amtrak from the bill failed.

In addition to the transit funding, the package has $37.9 billion for energy efficiency and $27.8 billion for renewable energy.

Rep. James Oberstar, the chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Comittee, is also pushing for an amendment that would mandate that funds for aviation, highway, rail, and transit come with a “use-it-or-lose-it” provisions, requiring that 50 percent of the funds be obligated within 90 days.

OpenCongress has a complete list of the amendments to be considered.

UPDATE: Oberstar’s amendment passed.