Senate Panel Backs $1.2B for High Speed Rail, $1.4B Extra For Highways

The Senate panel in charge of transportation spending has just released its version of the budget bill that passed the House last week, giving less to high-speed rail and more to highways than the lower chamber of Congress.

Senate’s transportation bill, shepherded by senior appropriator Patty
Murray (D-WA), provides $1.2 billion for the Obama administration’s
high-speed rail initiative — $200 million more than the White House’s budget request, but significantly less than the $4 billion that the House set aside for that purpose.

by contrast, got $41.1 billion from the House but $1.4 billion extra
from the Senate, for a total of $43.5 billion in spending. Transit
would get $480 million more than the White House requested, along with
a $150 million infusion for the cash-strapped D.C. Metro system.

Senators matched their House counterparts on funding for the administration’s inter-agency "livable communities" project,
which is aimed at encouraging transit-oriented development. And the
Senate outdid the House on rail safety, providing the $50 million in
grants for technology upgrades that was sought by two senior Democrats after the D.C. Metro crashed  last month.

Senate’s total spending on both transportation and housing for 2010:
$122 billion. The bill released today is expected to be merged with the
House product sometime in the fall before heading to the president’s

  • David Galvan

    Well, let’s hope the HSR funding gets boosted in conference committee. It has happened before!

  • Dan

    The House Bill had an additional $4 billion for HSR. This one waters it down by $2.8 billion and funnels $1.4 billion into highways. Many are tired of concrete jungles and if we keep adding to them and building them, we’ve really not changed.

  • The more I find out about how much we spend on roads (which are figures that are surprisingly difficult to come by) the more angry I get. For what we spend on highways we could have subways through rural Kansas.