Don’t let High-Speed Rail be part of the Federal spending cuts as it is just getting started

Currently the United States Congress is negotiating the annual spending bill for FY 2011 which might be finalized in two weeks to avoid a government shutdown. The House has already passed a bill that eliminates all funding for the high-speed rail (HSR) program. The Senate is proposing to restore all HSR money. However, the Senate’s position is only a starting position and some Senate democrats and the Obama administration are indicating they are willing to compromise with more spending cuts.

As a HSR Supporter, Please Join Californians For High Speed Rail in Urging our Senators and the President to Stand Firm During Negotiations with the House and to Commit to Fully Restoring High-Speed Rail Funding in FY 2011 Appropriations Bill. Please Call Today!

* Senator Dianne Feinstein: 202-224-3841
* Senator Barbara Boxer: 202-224-3553
* President Barack Obama: 202-456-1111

Calling is more effective than just sending e-mail. Also, reaching a staff person is the best way to communicate rather than just leaving a message. You may need to hold awhile, but be patient. You may even get hung up on occasionally. Keep calling back. You will get through. When you call, state your name, where you live, what you are asking for.

HOW THE HOUSE BILL IMPACTS THE CALIFORNIA HSR PROJECT

The House of Representatives recently passed an appropriations bill for the remainder of FY 2011 that will severely impact the California HSR project. The bill does the following

Eliminates all Federal funding for HSR in FY 2011.

In FY 2010, $2.5 billion was appropriated for HSR, from which the California HSR project received a good portion. Eliminating this funding in FY 2011 will slow down the California project, as no additional HSR funds will be available.

Rescinds all unobligated HSR funds from FY 2010.

The House bill not only eliminates new funding in FY 2011, it actually rescinds money appropriated in 2010. Therefore, if the House bill prevails, California will lose the $715 million it was granted in FY 2010.

Rescinds all unobligated HSR funds from the Stimulus.

The House bill also eliminates all unobligated funds from the 2009 Stimulus. Yes, that right, it goes after money that was assigned to HSR over 2 years ago. The original $2.25 billion granted to California is likely safe. However, the money that California received from rejected HSR funds from Wisconsin and Ohio – $614 million – has not been obligated and is endanger of being lost.

Rescinds $2.4 billion in HSR funds originally designated for Florida, but rejected by Governor Rick Scott.

Much of the $2.4 billion in HSR funds rejected by Florida’s Governor Rick Scott is likely to be redirected to the California HSR project. However, the entire $2.4 billion would be eliminated by the House bill, as it is a mixture of FY 2010 money and unobligated stimulus money. California is likely to get at least $1 billion and possibly $1.5 billion dollars or more from this reject money, but will not get any if the House bill prevails.

Total Result to California Project – Loss of $2.3 – $3 Billion in Federal Funds and a delay in spending matching State Proposition 1A Bond money on the initial construction.

The result will be that the initial segment for construction will have to be severely scaled back, significantly reducing the momentum of the project.

AGAIN TAKE ACTION TODAY – IT DOES NOT TAKE MUCH TIME TO MAKE THREE PHONE CALLS. HIGH SPEED RAIL IS TOO IMPORTANT TO BE NEGOTIATED AWAY JUST AS IT IS GETTING OFF THE GROUND. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE RIGHT NOW.

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 sharon@ca4hsr.org or 415.658.5322 on ways you can make a difference.

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