“Transportation and infrastructure improvements help build a foundation for long-term business growth and more jobs. I cannot wait to get to work on rebuilding our economy so taxpayers can see a return on their infrastructure investments.” Rep. Tom Reed, January, 20 2011
Rep. Tom Reed has a long history of telling the public that he supports a project or a bill, but when he gets to Washington he votes the other way.
- It was recently reported that although he supports Homeland Security, but voted against funding it.
- He told those at a Town Hall Meeting in Phelps, the day after the Paris massacre that he was against putting extra restrictions on Syrian Refugee, the next week he voted to do just that.
Sometimes he votes against funding a project and then he praises it.
- He told the parents and administrators at Happiness House, a preschool for handicap students in Geneva that how important federal funding for them and others schools in their stations AFTER he voted to reduce such funding.
- He voted not to increase FEMA relief funding during Tropic Storm Lee (2011), then praises how FEMA helped victims of it’s fury.
This time it deals with jobs—specifically manufacturing jobs in our district. Alstom in Hornell is the largest passenger rail manufacturing facility in North America. In September 2015, Alstrom began the steps to receive federal grants to produce the newest generation of passenger trains for Amtrak. Recently, it was announced the process has been completed. They will need 400 new jobs at Alstom, and about 350 other support jobs will be created in the area.
Although Rep. Reed feels compelled to meet with Alstom management and take credit for their successes and jobs, Senator Chuck Schumer has been the leader of this project. Matter-of-fact, Reed “was directly asked not to be present” at the September 2015 announcement by Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer.
Why? Because of Rep. Reed’s anti-Amtrak voting record.
According to John Plumb, and published by WRFALP (Jamestown Low Power Radio):
- In June 2015, Reed voted for a Transportation-HUD Appropriations bill that cut $242 million from Amtrak.
- Reed voted for FY2015 Republican budget that eliminated Amtrak support.
- Congress Reed voted against an amendment to authorize $750 million in funding for an automated train control system for Amtrak.
Reed’s latest Press Release about Alstom starts with:
Tom Reed joined Senator Chuck Schumer to announce the expected completion of the final step in the federal grant funding process for Alstom in Hornell.
Reed creatively used the word “joined” to give the impression that he worked together with Schumer on this project. They didn’t. Reed tried to justify his votes to cut funding:
“We have to do it on an economic basis and support it where it makes sense, where it doesn’t we’re obviously going to be an opponent to it,” he said.
He also explained to the Hornell Evening Tribute that
“We’ve been involved in this process from the beginning, working with Alstom to make sure they had access to the folks in Washington, D.C.”
I’m assuming that “We” refer to his Constituent Service office.
There seems to be a disconnection between what he tells us and how he votes. Reed is caught between two sets of stakeholders–
- the NY23rd Stakeholders (constituents)–Reed tries to convince us that his votes are in our best interests. In other words he tells us what he wants us to think.
- the inside DC Beltway Stakeholders–where he votes the way that is most profitable for himself, Republican Party, and the Party’s Donors.
What is profitable for the Beltway Stakeholders is not always what is in his constituents best interests. Guess which way Reed votes when that conflict occurs!
Reed has said, implausibly, that government can’t create jobs, yet he acts as if he can and has done so. His efforts to “create jobs” usually involve tax breaks for business or repeal of regulations.
Government efforts to create jobs indirectly have seen limited success. If government really wanted to create jobs, we could hire more government workers–hiring more tax auditors would not only create jobs but the auditors would save more money then they cost.
Here was Tom Reed’s statement in 2011:
“The government’s role needs to evolve more toward facilitator than endower. We need to build upon models such as the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program, which is allowing private enterprise to put existing rail infrastructure to better use at a profit for taxpayers……. Reasonable Regulation: We have to get government out of the way to streamline the process for infrastructure projects — from proposal through approval and then funding. While environmental impact statements are a necessary part of the process, we must be more reasonable to lower the cost and shorten the timeline of improvement efforts……..
Leveraging Technology: Our government needs to embrace technology and to move at a more contemporary pace.”
Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) Program Fact Sheet