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New York Congressmen Rip House Transportation Bill

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - The Metropolitan Transit Authority, Transit Union and lawmakers are denouncing a House Republican bill that would cut funds for New York City's public transportation systems.

The Federal Transportation bill would change how mass transit is funded by the government, taking away gas tax revenue and instead make a one-time deposit into a mass transit trust fund.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney said the bill would strip the MTA of $1 billion in funds that it had been receiving since the Reagan years.

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Congress is expected to vote on the bill in the next two weeks.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-New York) calls it, "the worst transportation bill that we have ever seen."

"This is a bill designed to say to people who live in suburban and urban areas and depend on mass transit 'You're second class citizens. We don't give a damn about you. Disappear,'" said Nadler.

"The Republican plan is not even worth a warm bucket of asphalt," said Maloney (D-New York) on Monday.

"Highways will continue to get receipts from the gasoline tax, but mass transit would be a stepchild," said Nadler.

MTA chairman Joseph Lhota says the 8.5 million people who ride the subways, buses, and commuter trains every day need to know, "If we don't get the monies necessary to do the repair and renovations of the system, it will raise fares."

He says it will force the agency to reconsider projects already in progress, including the 2nd Avenue Subway.

Rep. Charles Rangel and Rep. Joseph Crowley, both New York Democrats, were also on hand Monday voicing their disapproval of the bill.

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