U.S. House Subcommittee Slices Money for Rail

United States House of Representatives

UPDATE 6/19/2012 10 a.m. Editor's note: The House Appropriations Committee moved the transportation funding bill forward Tuesday without changing the level of funding for New Starts or Honolulu rail. The story below was written before the hearing, but remains accurate.

Honolulu rail planners are counting on $250 million from the federal government next year.

But if the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives has anything to say about it, the amount could be far less.

The House Appropriations Committee — the lower chamber's version of the body Hawaii Sen. Dan Inouye chairs in the Senate — will take up the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) funding bill at 10:15 a.m. Washington time Tuesday. The version passed out to the full committee by the THUD subcommittee would give Honolulu $100 million in Fiscal Year 2013 — $150 million less than Inouye had gotten through the Senate and President Barack Obama had requested in his original budget.

In all, the subcommittee recommended New Starts funding about $420 million lower than Obama's request. The subcommittee, chaired by Republican Tom Latham of Iowa, made its cuts to the appropriations bill June 7 but members had been mum about what changes were made. Neither Mazie Hirono nor Colleen Hanabusa are members of the subcommittee or the full Appropriations Committee. The subcommittee's markup report was made available online Monday.

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