Congressman Meadows on AAF Federal Funding: 'We Cannot Support ... Blank-Check Authority'
Posted on May 22, 2018
By: Nancy Smith, Sunshine State News
The chairman of a congressional committee important to the funding of All Aboard Florida's proposed Miami-Orlando passenger rail service has asked U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to suspend the allocation of AAF Private Activity Bonds (PABs) until his subcommittee gets answers to its questions.
In a May 16 letter to Chao made public Tuesday, Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations, said he approached his subcommittee's April 19 hearing "with an open mind, but came away from it deeply troubled about (USDOT's) position." Have a look at the hearing by clicking here.
But now Meadows questions USDOT's theory that "one dollar in Title 23 funds spent on highway-rail crossings allows a passenger railroad to be eligible for $1.15 billion in PABs." Meadows called it "deeply concerning."
More important, said Meadows, was the "decision to approve AAF's most recent $1.15 billion allocation (which was) not spent on the AAF project itself. Instead, (it was) spent on the highway-rail crossings on the rail corridor on which AAF would run -- a corridor owned by an entirely different company that has granted AAF an easement to run its trains. This creates substantial problems ..."
Meadows calls AAF's credibility into question, for making claims in its PAB application that AAF had been the recipient of the Title 23 money…