2010 Transportation-HUD Appropriations Bill Includes Funding for High Speed Rail and Amtrak

On December 8, 2009 the appropriations committees reached a final agreement on the 2010 Transportation-HUD appropriations bill, which includes funding for high speed rail and Amtrak.  The measure will be included in omnibus package of six appropriations bills and a vote on the House floor may come soon.  

The transportation appropriation provides $2.5 billion for high speed rail grants and $1.565 billion to Amtrak.   

High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Grants
The conference agreement provides $2.5 billion for grants to states or Amtrak for high speed/intercity passenger rail.  This splits the difference between the House allocation of $4 billion and the $1.2 billion proposed by the Senate.

House language allowing high speed rail funds to be transferred for the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank was deleted.  The conferees suggested this proposal should be considered through the authorization process.

The conferees provided $1.565 billion to Amtrak for operations, capital, and debt service.  

The appropriation for operating grants is $563 million.  This is an increase of $10 million over the House and the Senate versions.  An additional $19 million was provided for the Inspector General.  

Conferees provided $1.002 billion to capital and debt service as requested by the Senate.  This is an increase of $72 million over the House number. The debt service figure is $264 million as requested by both the House and Senate.  The conference committee directed Amtrak to spend $144 million in FY10 for ADA.  

The total $1.565 billion figure is $254 million less than the amount authorized in PRIIA.  The operating figure is $17 million less than in PRIIA while the total capital amount is $237 million less.  

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