09.23.09

SCHUMER CALLS FOR MORE FUNDING FOR HIGH SPEED RAIL; URGES CONGRESS TO PROVIDE FULL $4 BILLION

House Appropriations Bill Provides $4 Billion For High Speed Rail Projects But Senate Bill Only Has $1.2 Billion - Schumer Pushes For Higher Number As Bills Are Combined Schumer: This Funding Will Help Us Change the Way We Move People Throughout the Country, and Especially Upstate

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Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer urged the committee reconciling the House and Senate Transportation Appropriations bills to retain the funding level of $4 billion in the House legislation for the High Speed and Intercity Rail program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010.  Both programs are critical to expanding public transportation infrastructure to bring faster, more efficient trains to Upstate New York.   The House legislation provides $4 billion, while the Senate only provides $1.2 billion.  Today, Schumer asked that the House funding level be used in the final bill.

 

"We are at the beginning of a new age for transportation, and we must provide proper funding to complete these projects, like highspeed rail in Upstate New York, which could have a significant impact on the way we move people throughout the state and country," said Schumer. "Retaining these funding levels will help expand our transportation infrastructure and potentially make the dream of high speed rail a reality and that is why I am urging the THUD Committee to retain the current funding levels for these two programs."

 

Schumer said that America is poised to create infrastructure for high speed rail which will allow states that, like New York, have dense populations, but moderate distances between cities, to efficiently move people for business and leisure travel, all the while spurring local economies along the rail lines.  Schumer noted that in order to do this, it is critical that Congress build on the high speed rail funding levels from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) by including the House's provision of $4 billion in additional funding in the final version of THUD.

 

Today, Senator Schumer wrote to THUD Committee Chairman Patty Murray and Ranking Member Kit Bond urging them to retain funding levels for both programs. Schumer noted that the benefit of retaining the funding levels would have significant economic and environmental impacts.

 

Schumer said "Fully funding this program is critical to expanding public transportation infrastructure in the United States, which in turn helps the country to mitigate some of the environmental, energy, and congestion issues that plague our roads and airspace."

 

A full copy of the letter is below: 

 

Dear Chairman Murray and Ranking Member Bond:

 

As you meet in conference to work out the final version of H.R. 3288, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010 (THUD), I urge you to retain the funding level of $4 Billion in the House legislation for the High Speed and Intercity Rail program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010.  I also ask that you retain the funding level of $1.1 Billion in the Senate bill for multimodal projects of national significance.  Both programs are critical to expanding public transportation infrastructure in the United States, which in turn helps the country to mitigate some of the environmental, energy, and congestion issues that plague our roads and airspace.

 

Our country is poised to create infrastructure for high speed rail which will allow states with dense populations, but moderate distances between cities, to efficiently move people for business and leisure travel, all the while spurring local economies along the rail lines.  It is critical that Congress build on the high speed rail funding levels from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) by including the House's provision of $4 Billion in additional funding in the final version of THUD.

 

It is also critical that Congress builds on the pot of ARRA funding for projects of national significance.  This funding stream will be important to a wide array of transportation projects from rail to mass transit, and from bridge replacements to port infrastructure that are often stymied by funding programs that do not realistically account for the large costs and lengthy amounts of time that are required to complete projects that will have major impacts on how we move people and goods throughout the country.   

 

Thank you for your consideration of these important funding levels for transportation.  I hope that you will choose to retain these funding levels in the final version of THUD and I look forward to supporting this legislation as it comes to the floor for final passage. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator



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