President Obama has announced a six-year, $53 billion plan for high-speed rail infrastructure.
On Monday, he will ask Congress to approve an initial $8 million that will go toward developing and improving high-speed trains and connecting rails. (The rest of the funding will likely be provided for in future budgets and bills.)
The focus on high-speed rails is part of Obama’s job creation goals a push for more American competitiveness. Once achieved, the infrastructure would give 80 percent of the nation access to high-speed railways within 25 years.
While pledging funds for the rail system, Obama has also vowed to cut overall spending. Vice President Biden spoke in Philadelphia on Tuesday to promote the plan saying that the administration will not compromise on spending cuts that will adversely affect infrastructure, education and the initiatives designed to create jobs and competition.
Obama, a long time advocate for creating jobs through improving the nation’s transportation system, had previously laid out a plan to invest $50 billion in high-speed rails, bridges, highways, and airports. The plan was not voted on by Congress at the time, but Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is confident this most recent plan will adopted in August despite Republican opposition.
In addition to creating jobs and making our means of travel more sustainable, the Obama administration will also look for every opportunity to use American made tools and parts during the project.