July 15: Today there was another indication that the newly constituted House of Representatives understands the “litmus test” imperative of zeroing out high speed rail appropriations, in light of potentially required cuts in essential programs like Medicare, Social Security and others. $1 billion was switched to Midwest flood relief in an approval today of the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for the 2012 budget.
The bill may or may not pass the Senate and lobbying is underway to “obligate” the money before the rescission becomes law. Either way, this action and the previous action to reduce high speed rail funding by $2.5 billion in a previous budget deal with the White House indicates a very tough road ahead for the Administration’s high speed rail program, most of which is not genuine high speed rail.
The rescission would block funding that has been promised by the US Department of Transportation to a number of projects around the nation, such in California, North Carolina, Michigan, Missouri and Illinois.