High Hurdles Face Obama's $53 Billion HSR Investment

President Obama's six-year, $53 billion high speed rail funding proposal must overcome stiff opposition of a skeptical Republican congress, particularly by House Transportation Chair John Mica who referenced swindler Bernie Madoff in his response.
February 13, 2011, 7am PST | Irvin Dawid
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"(T)he (funding) initiative first must pass through Congress, where negative early reviews came from U.S. Reps. John Mica, R-Winter Park, (FL) chairman of the powerful House Transportation Committee, and Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chairman of the Railroads Subcommittee.

Mica likened the plan, announced by Vice President Joe Biden, to "giving Bernie Madoff another chance at handling your investment portfolio."

"Government won't develop American high-speed rail," Shuster said. "Private investment and a competitive market will."

That comment must have been heard by the California High Speed Rail Authority, the state most likely to receive the largest amount of the funding.

From Mercury News: Obama's $53 billion high-speed rail pledge could fund huge chunk of California's project: "... the rail authority late Tuesday (Feb. 8) scheduled an announcement for Wednesday to discuss new developments related to private-sector interest in California's high-speed rail project." The state hopes to receive $16 billion if the Federal Rail Administration continues to award about 30% of Federal grants to CA.

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Published on Tuesday, February 8, 2011 in Orlando Sentinel
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