House to Vote on High-Speed Rail Funding, National Infrastructure Bank

Published on
by
The New York Times

House to Vote on High-Speed Rail Funding, National Infrastructure Bank

by
Josh Voorhees of Greenwire

The French state railway operator SNCF decided to order 35 new-generation TGV high-speed rail cars costing more than 1.0 billion euros (1.4 billion dollars). (AFP/File/Fred Dufour)

The House is set today to vote on a fiscal 2010 transportation
spending bill that would provide $4 billion for high-speed rail and lay
the groundwork for the creation of a national infrastructure bank.

H.R. 3288 (pdf) would provide a total of $75.8 billion for the Transportation Department, an $8.6 billion jump from fiscal 2009.

The $4 billion for high-speed and intercity passenger rail is four
times the total President Obama had sought for the upcoming fiscal
year. The economic stimulus included $8 billion to jump-start a
high-speed rail network, and the White House requested an additional $1
billion annually over the next five years.

A provision in the spending bill allows Transportation Secretary Ray
LaHood to transfer half of the high-speed rail program's $4 billion to
a national infrastructure bank, if one is authorized by Congress before
the end of fiscal 2010. Obama had requested $5 billion for 2010 to
start the bank to expand existing transportation investments by
providing seed money for capital projects.

Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa), the ranking member on the Transportation
Appropriations Subcommittee, will offer an amendment that would scale
back the high-speed rail cash to $1 billion and transfer the remaining
$3 billion to the cash-strapped Highway Trust Fund. Latham offered a
similar amendment during last week's markup that was defeated, 22-37.

The White House offered its support for the entire spending bill and
applauded the passenger rail funding increase and the infrastructure
bank provision.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

 

Share This Article

More in: