The budget proposal was submitted by Council Chairman Vincent Gray's staff at 2:00 am Wednesday morning, and came as a surprise to several city council members who were under the impression the day before that funding for the streetcar line would be preserved. Still, the vote to approve the budget passed, with just two council members voting against.
The official reason given for the cut is to help plug a $550 million gap in Washington DC's budget. However many in the city's blogging community are crying foul as Sarah Campbell, Gray's Deputy Director for Capital Projects, had been pushing for an elimination of the project. Campbell previously expressed concerns about the rapid planning process for the streetcar system. She is also a known acquaintance of Meg McGuire, a leader of a campaign against the the overhead wires needed to power the new system.