House Transportation Chair Mica Is No Fan of TIGER Program

In February 2010, Representative Mica made this statement about the TIGER Program:

“Billions of dollars in stimulus grants have recently been doled out by bureaucrats in the Administration with no transparency or accountability to taxpayers,” Mica said.

“The decisions to award $1.5 billion in TIGER grants and $8 billion in high-speed rail stimulus grants were made behind closed doors. Congress often gets criticized for earmarking, but at least Members of Congress are elected officials that have to stand on their records. Bureaucrats in the Administration – any Administration – are not accountable to the public.

“The TIGER grants were intended to create jobs and help economically distressed regions of the country. However, only 60% of those funds went to economically distressed areas. More than half of the funding went to states where unemployment is below the national average. My state of Florida, which has the seventh worst rate of unemployment in the country, received no TIGER grants.

“This makes no sense to me,” Mica said. “The evaluation process for these grants occurred behind closed doors, and I would like this information to be made public.” Mica is also joining Senator Bill Nelson and other members of the state’s delegation in a bipartisan effort to review the process by which Florida, with one of the nation’s worst unemployment rates at 11.8%, received no TIGER grant funding.

Streetsblog addresses the criticism in “Grabbing a Thin Reed, Republicans Attack DOT Over Stimulus Grant Process.”

“Mica Declares War on Executive Earmarks,” Statement for hearing, “Recovery Act: One-Year Progress Report for Transportation and Infrastructure Investments”