At a congressional hearing about the Washington, D.C. Metro's many problems with safety, financial responsibility, customer service, and reliability, Rep. John Mica (R., Fla.) ripped the transit agency's chairman, D.C. City Councilman Jack Evans (D.), over the sad state of Metro's finances on Wednesday.
"This caused me to go deeper into your finances. Now I heard you Mr. Evans, and you gave a nice presentation. I was here in '95 when we put the control board in, we disbanded the district government, you're running three-quarters of a billion dollars in debt," Mica said. "Three-quarters of a billion dollars in debt, you add in all kinds of unfunded liabilities, pensions, everything, it was the most screwed-up mess I've ever seen in business or government. What's your current surplus in the district? What are you running, half a billion? $500 million?"
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"Right now, we have $2.17 billion dollars in our reserve funds and we run about—" Evans said.
"Okay, well, uh, let's step up to the plate! You're dealing with people who are broke. I'm telling you I am not going to bail you out. I am not going to support bailing out the District of Columbia," Mica said.
"Please don't come here. There's lots of money available. What we don't have, we have money available, we don't have leadership, we don't have management," Mica said. "And these people need to step up to the plate, Virginia needs to step up to the plate, Maryland needs to step up to the plate, and the District, with that huge surplus, now needs to step up to the plate. You sure as heck ain't going to get it out of my folks."
The hearing was held by a subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and was chaired by Mica.