The House’s fiscal 2012 budget resolution (see text), released today, assumes zero spending on the high-speed rail program, and suggests that intercity passenger rail should only be funded “if they can be established as self-supporting commercial services.” See below for the full quote. See “House Republicans unveil $3.5T budget blueprint for 2012,” from the Washington Post for general information about the proposal, or the House Republican’s Key Facts and Summary.
The budget resolution serves as a blueprint for the appropriation process.
Over 30 states are pursuing intercity and high speed passenger rail funds. They, along with Senate Democrats and the White House, are certain to advocate for some level of continued funding.
“Further, however worthy some highway projects might be, their capacity as job creators has been vastly oversold, as demonstrated by the extravagant but unfulfilled promises that accompanied the 2009 stimulus bill, particularly with regard to high-speed rail.
In the wake of these failures, and with the federal government’s fiscal challenges making long-term subsidization infeasible, high-speed rail and other new intercity rail projects should be pursued only if they can be established as self-supporting commercial services. The threat of large, endless subsidies is precisely the reason governors across the country are rejecting federally-funded high-speed rail projects. This budget eliminates these projects, which have failed numerous and clear cost-benefit analyses,” (Page 33, “The Path To Prosperity).
That is selective analysis. Recovery Act highway projects created or preserved thousands of jobs that otherwise would not have existed. And many highway and rail projects passed cost-benefit analyses with flying colors.
And over 30 states continue to pursue passenger rail funding for existing services that are experiencing an increase of passengers.