Politicians Call For Congressional Oversight, Investigation Into MTA’s Mismanaged Spending

Malliotakis, Gottheimer Call for Congressional Oversight & Investigation of MTA’s Mismanaged Spending
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) and Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05) have formally called for a Congressional oversight hearing and an investigation into New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) mismanagement of federal dollars from both the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.
The lawmakers believe taxpayers deserve answers, under oath, from the MTA regarding how $15 billion of COVID-19 relief taxpayer dollars were spent and why the MTA is hitting commuters with a new Congestion Tax that would charge drivers upwards of $23 per day to enter Manhattan south of 60th St.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) received $15 billion in relief funds from American taxpayers,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Chairman DeFazio & Chairman Clyburn. “Despite this bailout, the MTA appears to have already depleted those emergency dollars and is expected to hit a “fiscal cliff,” with a $2.5 billion deficit in 2025 and a $4.6 billion operating deficit by 2026, requiring further taxpayer bailouts. It is unclear where all of those billions of dollars went. This excessively bureaucratic and woefully mismanaged agency admitted it lost $119 million to fare evasion in just the first three months of 2022, heading toward $500 million for this year. To get to the bottom of how the MTA mismanaged its $15 billion bailout, we urge you to hold hearings, including directly with the CEO and Chair of the MTA, under oath, to investigate this unacceptable misuse of taxpayer dollars.”
The letter comes after Malliotakis and Gottheimer introduced legislation requiring the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct an audit on the use of federal funds by certain transit agencies. The lawmakers have also spearheaded a bipartisan effort to fight New York’s congestion tax, including the Economic Impact of Tolling Act, legislation that would prohibit the Secretary of Transportation from implementing congestion pricing until a thorough economic impact analysis is completed and publicized, along with two amendments that would ensure federal dollars aren’t used to implement congestion pricing unless certain criteria are met. They’ve also written to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) calling for a more thorough analysis of how congestion pricing will impact commuters, tourists, and businesses.
The lawmakers added: “The Authority is now proposing a Congestion Tax to help refill its depleted coffers, which would cost drivers up to $23 dollars a day — more than $5,000 a year. That’s on top of the already far-too-high $16-a-day tolls for our bridges and tunnels, not to mention parking and gas, just to drive south of 60th Street to work in New York City from Jersey. We urge both the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis to require testimony from the CEO and Chair of the MTA and demand answers, under oath, for how billions of COVID taxpayer dollars were squandered and why the MTA is hitting hardworking commuters with a new tax instead of getting its house in order. This billion-dollar-a-year Congestion Tax cash grab that won’t alleviate pollution or traffic is certainly not the answer to the MTA’s decades-long problems.”
The MTA’s Record of Mismanagement, Corruption, Violations, and Fraud:

To download a copy of the letter, click HERE

Banner Image: NYC subway station. Image Credit – Lerone Pieters

Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis

Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis was sworn in on January 3, 2021 to represent Staten Island and Southern Brooklyn. Prior to serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis was elected to the New York State Assembly on November 2, 2010, defeating a two-term incumbent. In the Assembly, she served as Minority Whip and the ranking minority member of the Assembly Committee on Governmental Employees. For five terms, Congresswoman Malliotakis fought to restore ethics in Albany, expand transit service in her district, improve programs for senior citizens, reform education and improve New York’s economic climate by reducing the tax burden on small businesses and residents. A cornerstone of her tenure was helping her community recover and rebuild following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. In addition to advocating for these same issues in Washington, Congresswoman Malliotakis is acutely focused on securing New York’s fair share of federal mass transit funding, which would go towards expanding transportation services and easing traffic congestion, while also championing public safety by supporting our nation’s law enforcement officers. Congresswoman Malliotakis is the daughter of immigrants, her father from Greece and her mother a Cuban exile of the Castro dictatorship. She is currently the only Republican member representing New York City in Congress, representing a district spanning the boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island. She is a passionate advocate for animal rights and the strengthening of animal cruelty laws, and in her spare time, enjoys spending time with her chihuahua, Peanut.

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