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Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 02/25/2011

Northern Va. lawmakers ask Congress to restore Metro's $150 million

By Fredrick Kunkle

Northern Virginia's state lawmakers have closed ranks in asking their counterparts in Congress to restore $150 million in Metro funding.

In a Feb. 22 letter authored by Del. Scott A. Surovell (D-Fairfax), 24 of 27 lawmakers asked members of the Virginia congressional delegation to make sure that Congress honors a bipartisan funding agreement between Maryland, the District, Virginia and the U.S. government. The 2008 deal had been brokered by Rep. Tom Davis, a Republican, and Rep. Jim Moran, a Democrat, to address $1.5 billion in needed improvements to Metro.

The funds were dropped as part of the Republican-controlled House's decision to lop $60 billion from federal spending. Rep. Gerald Connolly, a Democrat from Fairfax, offered legislation to put the money back in but was ruled out of order.

Surovell's letter notes that the system is integral not just to the Washington region's economy but to Virginia's, as Northern Virginia is its economic motor. The letter also notes that the worst crash in Metro's history, which killed nine people and injured 75 in 2009, has been blamed on equipment breakdowns.

Surovell also asked Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) that he lend his support, too.

Two Fairfax County Republicans -- Dels. Jim LeMunyon and Rust -- signed on to the letter. Three other Republicans -- Dels. David Albo, Barbara Comstock and Tim Hugo -- declined, Surovell said.

By Fredrick Kunkle  | February 25, 2011; 12:15 PM ET
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