While high-speed rail projects across the country are generating economic growth and new jobs, these successful projects are threatened with funding cuts or elimination. Currently, Members of Congress are threatening to take back funding that has already been awarded for the President’s high-speed rail program. An amendment to the FY2012 Energy & Water Appropriations Bill would rescinding $1.028 billion in unobligated high-speed rail ARRA and FY2010 funds. The bill is scheduled to come to the House floor during the week of July 5. Furthermore, there are efforts to take back all unobligated high-speed rail funds and cut Amtrak funding. The House has already zeroed out high-speed rail funds for FY12. However, the the senate has yet to make a decision. They need to hear from all of us to hold the line on high-speed rail.
Please call or write your elected officials and ask them to resist all attempts to take back money already awarded to high-speed rail projects. Also ask them to fund the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program at $2.5 billion to match levels in FY 2010 and to fully fund Amtrak’s request of $2.25 billion.
Visit Stand Up for Trains to sign an online letter or get the phone numbers of your representatives.
Background (Provided by America 2050)
A House Appropriations bill now threatens to strip all unspent funding for high-speed and conventional passenger rail, potentially up to $2.3 billion, that has already been awarded to projects in 22 states around the country and Washington, DC. On June 15th, the House Appropriations Committee approved a Fiscal Year 2012 Energy and Water Funding Bill with an amendment, introduced by Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen (R -NJ) and approved along party lines by a voice vote, to rescind all unobligated funding for the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program. The bill targets this funding in order to offset $1.028 billion in disaster relief to repair damage from the recent spate of storms and floods. Since emergency relief funding does not require an offset under House rules, this is clearly an attack on the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program, the primary infrastructure initiative of the Obama Administration.
In addition, passenger rail programs have been targeted by deficit hawks in Washington. Both Amtrak and the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program are facing drastic and unsustainable funding cuts in Fiscal Year 2012 by politicians who are overlooking the long-term benefits of these vital national infrastructure investments. While progress must be made toward reaching a balanced budget, failing to fully fund these critically important programs would be to jeopardize the nation’s future economic prosperity.
We need your help to send the message to Washington that Americans need and want a stronger national passenger rail system. Please call or write your elected officials and ask them to fund the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program at $2.5 billion to match levels in FY 2010, to fully fund Amtrak’s request of $2.25 billion, and to oppose any rescission of high-speed rail funding. Visit StandUpForTrains.org to send your elected officials an e-mail message.
About Californians For High Speed Rail
Californians For High Speed Rail (CA4HSR) is a grassroots, statewide coalition of HSR supporters advocating for the HSR project approved by California voters in November 2008. Founded in 2005, we exist to educate, inform, and organize Californians about ways they can help make high-speed rail a reality in the Golden State.
As a non-profit group united by our passion to bring high-speed rail to California, we rely on the help of like-minded volunteers to carry out our mission. We welcome article ideas, submissions and donations from our members and supporters. Contact Sharon Sim-Krause at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415.658.5322 on ways you can make a difference.
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