Megyn Kelly twice repeated the discredited falsehood that “nearly 10 million bucks” in stimulus funds is going to “renovate an abandoned train station that no one uses.”
During the June 23 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, co-host Megyn Kelly twice repeated the discredited falsehood that “nearly 10 million bucks” in stimulus funds is going to “renovate an abandoned train station that no one uses.” Kelly sourced the claim to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who stated in a report detailing purportedly wasteful stimulus projects that "[n]early $10 million" in stimulus funds is being used “to renovate an abandoned train station that hasn't been used in 30 years.” However, as Media Matters for America previously noted, Coburn's own report notes that while the station house in question has been closed for 30 years, "[t]he station's platform currently serves more than 80,000 passengers a year," which is reportedly nearly double the number who used the station in 2003-04.
Despite the large number of passengers using the station, according to Amtrak, the facility has no station hours, no ticket office hours, and no Quik-Trak hours. Moreover, according to various accounts, the Elizabethtown Amtrak stop does not currently comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If the station is not renovated to comply with the ADA by 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation has the right to shut it down -- a fact not mentioned in Coburn's report.
In his report, Coburn listed the Elizabethtown project as one of the “Top Ten” examples of waste in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The section of his report that addressed the project is titled: “Taxpayers Taken for a Ride: Nearly $10 Million to be Spent to Renovate a Century Old Train Station that Hasn't Been Used in 30 Years.”
From the June 23 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:
KELLY: Well, the president promised to, quote, “call out any wasteful spending” he sees under his $787 billion stimulus plan. Now we learn that nearly 10 million bucks has gone to renovate an abandoned train station that no one uses, 10,000 dead people got stimulus checks, and millions have been spent to help turtles cross a road. So what is the White House saying now?
KELLY: But I just want our viewers to know, because we've ticked off a couple of these things that Coburn has highlighted, which the White House -- some of which it disputes, and the others it defends, it says these are good things. Like $800,000 for the little-used John Murtha Airport in Johnstown --
STU VARNEY (Fox Business Network host): Yeah. Yeah.
KELLY: -- they wanted to repave a backup runway -- they're calling this the airport for nobody; 3.4 million for a wildlife eco-passage in Florida that takes the animals safely under a busy highway; $10 million to renovate an abandoned train station that hasn't been used in 30 years, Stu.
VARNEY: What is wasteful? What is silly? Those are value judgments and it depends -- which side you come down on depends upon which side of the aisle you're talking about.