1985 Scorecard Vote
One of the greatest proposed taxpayer ripoffs of all time, the Western Interstate Highway would have cost $15,000 per inch, with the federal government paying 90 percent of the cost of this $4 billion to $10 billion highway/land development scheme for New York City. Westway was opposed by both national and New York environmentalists because it would have increased an already serious air pollution problem by drawing more automobiles into Manhattan, and diverting up to $1.5 billion away from subway improvements. Even more importantly, Westway would have created a landfill extending 1,000 feet into the Hudson River, stirring up toxic wastes in the river and endangering one of the last remaining breeding grounds for striped bass, a major commercial and sport fish.
This vote was on the Coughlin (R-PA) Amendment to prevent federal funding for Westway. Amendment accepted 287-132; September 11, 1985. YES is the pro-environmental vote. (Coughlin Amendment to H.R. 3244, FY '86 Transportation Appropriations.) After the House vote, New York officials agreed to "trade in" Westway aid for a more modest highway, and subway improvement assistance.