Capitol Words a project of the Sunlight Foundation

  • and

Energy And Water Development And Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012

Rep. Russ Carnahan

legislator photo

Mr. Chair, I move to strike the last word.

During this time of economic uncertainty it is important to invest in the future. High speed rail will play a vital role in modernizing our transportation infrastructure, and we must prioritize its further development. If we are to remain economically competitive with the rest of the world, we must invest robustly in our infrastructure and create a true, world class transportation system. High speed rail will revolutionize the transportation industry, and its development will add valuable jobs to our economy.

I am firmly against this bill, which would rescind unobligated funds from high speed rail projects. While I fully support our disaster recovery efforts, there is no reason to do this at the expense of our rail infrastructure. This is merely a ploy by Republicans to cut off funding for a priority area for President Obama.

As a country we cannot afford to ignore this opportunity to create millions of jobs and develop a comprehensive high speed rail system. These cuts would drastically affect the State of Missouri, putting plans for a St. Louis-Kansas high speed rail corridor in jeopardy. We would also lose almost 8,000 jobs and nearly $300 million in funding for high speed rail projects, including $3 million in the 3rd District which I represent.

There is no question that we must curtail excessive government spending, a process that will require some belt tightening. But it makes no sense to cut funding for programs, such as high speed rail construction, that will foster sustained, long-term economic growth for America.

I urge all of my colleagues to consider the numerous benefits the high speed rail program will bring to all Americans and to vote against cutting the program's funding. We cannot allow our current fiscal challenges to prevent us from investing in the future while simultaneously helping to kick start our economy.