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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Aviation bill amendment proposes to replenish Highway Trust Fund, finance high-speed rail projects


The U.S. Senate currently is debating a bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). An amendment to the bill would replenish the Highway Trust Fund without using transit dollars and provide financing for high-speed rail projects.

Proposed by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), the amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007 (H.R. 2881) would authorized transferring money from the General Fund to the Highway Trust Fund to repay $3.3 billion in emergency expenditures to cover damages from hurricanes and terrorist attacks — without adversely affecting public transportation revenue sources, according to an American Public Transportation Association Legislative Update released yesterday.

If passed, the bill would eliminate the need to use other means to address the trust fund shortfall, such as borrowing funds from the Mass Transit Account, which the president proposed earlier this year. In addition, the Rockefeller amendment authorizes issuing tax-credit bonds to promote high-speed-rail investment.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/6/2008