UPDATE (2/17/09, 2:27 pm): President Obama and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel hope to make a large investment in high-speed rail, Politico reports, starting with the economic recovery bill. According to the article, most of the $8 billion allocated to high-speed rail was inserted at Emanuel’s insistence, and Obama plans to ask for an additional $1 billion every year for the next five years. His first request will come when he outlines the 2010 budget next week.
UPDATE (2/16/09, 12:00 pm): Recovery plan passes House and Senate, Obama to sign on Tuesday. Both the House and Senate approved the recovery plan conference report on Friday, and President Obama plans to sign the legislation on Tuesday in Denver. The final transportation figures differ slightly from the numbers reported earlier, providing $27.5 billion for highways, $17.7 billion for rail and transit, and $1.5 for discretionary grants. The rail and transit money includes $8 billion for high-speed rail, $6.9 billion for transit, $1.3 billion for Amtrak, and $750 million each for rail modernization and transit new starts.
While the House bill allocated some money to states for intercity and high-speed rail and the Senate version created an additional category for the High-Speed Rail Corridor Program, the conference report merged the two categories. The final version provides Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood discretion to divide the money between the two programs, “[giving] priority to projects that support the development of intercity high speed rail service.“
Below are the final figures, in thousands:
UPDATE (2/12/09, 2:37 pm): Talking Points Memo has obtained a breakdown of the conference committee bill. Highway funding is set at $29 billion, not $27 billion as earlier reported. Rail and transit would receive $17.7 billion, more than in either the House or Senate versions, largely due to the increase in high-speed rail funding. Talking Points Memo notes that the bill has not yet been filed, so it is possible the figures could change.
Here are the latest figures, in thousands:
High-speed rail would receive $8 billion under yesterday’s compromise recovery bill, a fourfold increase over the Senate version, according to the Associated Press. The Senate bill called for $2 billion in high-speed rail funding, while the House version included just $300 million for intercity and high-speed rail.
According to the article, the new bill also includes $8.4 billion for mass transit, identical to the Senate version but less than the House version, and $1.3 billion for Amtrak, an increase over both bills.
It is unclear whether any money would be allocated specifically to new starts or rail modernization. No money would be allocated specifically to new starts or rail modernization.
Highways are slated to receive
$27 billion $29 billion, equal to more than the Senate version but less than the $30 billion the House called for. According to the AP article, rail and transit would receive at least $17.7 billion in the compromise bill. The Senate may begin debate today, while the House is expected to debate and vote on the bill tomorrow, according to Reuters.