Rep. Jim Moran was confident that his 1,000 parking space limit at Alexandria’s Mark Center would pass Congress without any trouble. But the Virginia congressman told Federal News Radio that the provision was removed at the urging of Sen. John McCain, R-Az., who called it an earmark and had it stripped from Moran's bill.
Earmarks, provisions lawmakers slip into massive spending bills to fund pet projects with little or no public scrutiny, have become a top target of Republicans intent on cutting wasteful federal spending and McCain is one of their most vocal critics.
The legislation that passed Congress could have done more to relieve congestion at the site, but instead wound up as a compromise that requires the Army to submit a detailed plan to fix transportation issues at the intersection of Seminary Road and Interstate 395, the location of the Army’s new office space.
But Moran said that any efforts to improve the traffic situation would be “impossible.”
Moran wanted to limit the number of parking spaces to ensure the roads near the Mark Center would not be jammed with thousands of extra commuters trying to get to the Defense Department's new office. About 6,400 Defense workers must be moved to the Mark Center by September as a part of BRAC, the Army’s Base Realignment and Closure plan.