Sources: Spending deal spares Metro funds

The spending agreement reached Friday night by President Obama and congressional negotiators fully funds the federal government’s $150 million share of the Metro budget, sparing the transportation system from potentially painful cuts.

Though most of the details of the deal have yet to be released, two sources familiar with the agreement said it does not include the cut to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s capital budget that was included by Republicans in the version of the spending bill passed by the House in February.

Cutting the federal government’s $150 million contribution to Metro would have imperiled an agreement under which Maryland, Virginia and the District match the federal share by contributing $50 million apiece to the capital fund, which pays for maintaining tracks and replacing old rail cars, among other projects..

Preserving the federal funding has been a key goal of the area’s bipartisan congressional delegation, as well as Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell (R).

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