- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Senate parliamentarian on Wednesday rejected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s attempt to add $140 million to a massive COVID-19 relief package for a subway tunnel near her California district.

“Parliamentarian rules against Pelosi tunnel earmark,” tweeted Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, who called it a “small victory.”

Mr. Grassley said there is still a lot of money in the $1.9 trillion measure that isn’t coronavirus-related, “but as a matter of common sense the Silicon Valley tunnel should be out.”

He questioned what the “pilot project” has to do with a pandemic.

Another source familiar with the Parliamentarian’s decision confirmed the action. The Senate office determines whether items in spending bills are related to the overall intent of the legislation.

The Parliamentarian also decided last week that a provision to raise the minimum wage to $15 could not be included in the COVID-19 relief bill.

The House approved the overall $1.9 trillion bill last week with a provision to fund a 6-mile extension of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system in the Oakland-San Francisco region.

The project itself dates back to the Trump administration. Then-Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced funding of $125 million for the project in August 2019.

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