Posted by: Providence Chamber of Commerce | July 25, 2011

Northeast Corridor High Speed Rail In Consideration By Congress

Earlier this week, GPCC joined other members of the Business Alliance in signing FY 2012 Appropriations request letters directed to members of Congress, asking for funding of $2.5 billion for the High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program and $2.2 billion for Amtrak. The two letters were sent to House and Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittees, and copies were sent to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, as well as the leaders of both chambers and the entire Northeast delegation. The GPCC Board of Directors supported this effort by unanimous vote earlier this summer and the GPCC Transportation Committee has been working with other interested parties in the Northeast Corridor in closely monitoring the progress of this legislation.

Advocacy groups have been keeping an eye on how appropriations shape up over the next few weeks and how high-speed rail funding is affected. On Friday, the House Energy & Water Bill that contains the amendment stripping all unspent High Speed Rail money in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed, despite a strong showing of support from members organized by the Congressional High-Speed Rail Caucus (15 members took to the floor to speak out against the amendment). Still, in order to become law, the bill must pass the Senate and avoid a veto by President Obama. Look for the Senate’s Energy & Water bill to include high-speed rail funding and the House’s rescission amendment to be struck from the final bill in negotiations. It is important that advocacy efforts are continued through letters of support for high-speed rail funding from individuals and local leaders to our Senators.

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