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7/21/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

House bill would help fund transportation projects (7/21/03)




In late June, Reps. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) and Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) introduced the Rebuild America Act of 2003 (H.R. 2615), which would provide $50 billion for public works projects, including transit-rail, highway and aviation. The bill aims to jumpstart the economy by creating jobs while rebuilding infrastructure.

The legislation includes $3 billion for public transportation projects and $14 billion for high-speed rail.

Most of the funding would come from surpluses in the highway, aviation and waterway trust funds, with the remainder funded through tax code changes or general fund appropriations.

The bill would provide funding for projects that are ready to bid out contracts, providing the greatest economic impact in the shortest amount of time, said House representatives.

The proposed bill is similar to Build America Bonds Act of 2003 (S.1109), introduced in the Senate by Sens. James Talent (R-Mo.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). S. 1109 would issue $50 billion in federal bonds to augment transportation and public works funding under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).

The bills are not intended to act as a substitute to TEA-21 reauthorization legislation.


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