KEY POINTS

  • Republicans had ridiculed the project, calling it 'Pelosi's Subway'
  • Funding for Seaway International Bridge in upstate NY has also been axed
  • Republicans Tuesday promised to fight the $1.9 trillion rescue package 

The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) extension project in San Francisco, ridiculed by congressional Republicans as 'Pelosi's Subway,' has been removed from President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office Tuesday said Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough has ruled against its inclusion in the bill, CNN reported.

"The Senate Parliamentarian has now ruled that the BART extension from San Jose to Santa Clara does not meet the requirements of the Byrd Rule because it is part of a pilot project. Therefore, it will be removed from the reconciliation package,” Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill said.

Besides the BART project, the relief package also axed funding of $1.5 million for the Seaway International Bridge in upstate New York, another project which the Republicans opposed, despite the request coming from Donald Trump’s administration. 

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY, had fought against the inclusion, accusing Democrats of unnecessary spending. The bridge, also known as Schumer bridge, connects New York to Canada across the St. Lawrence River.

The Phase II of the BART Silicon Valley Extension Program, which would connect the existing Berryessa station in Northeast San Jose to four new stations in downtown San Jose and Santa Clara, was supposed to get a $140 million grant had it stayed in the relief bill. 

The proposal met with resistance from GOP members who tagged it “Nancy Pelosi’s subway” in tweets and public statements though it was supposed to come up 50 miles south of the area she represents.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield snubbed the project, tweeting "The Socialists have brought the swamp back. $140 million for a tunnel near Pelosi's district, and when Republicans tried to redirect that money to provide mental health services for kids, every single Democrat voted against the kids."

But, Hammill defended the project saying ridership for mass-transit fell during the pandemic, which justified government spending.

“COVID-19 had an immediate and overwhelming effect on all of our transportation systems and the millions of transportation and construction jobs associated with them,” he said.

The Republicans have promised to fight the entire $1.9 trillion rescue package as Democrats prepare to pass it next week. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday that Republicans will fight the legislation “in every way that we can.”

“This is a wildly expensive proposal largely unrelated to the problem. About 9 percent of the money is in the health care space. Less than 1 percent of it deals with vaccinations,” McConnell said. “We’ll be fighting this in every way that we can.”

Democratic Speaker of the US House Nancy Pelosi, the only woman to serve in the post, has said she is confident she will be reelected for another term Speaker of the US House Nancy Pelosi Photo: AFP / Mandel NGAN