LaMalfa attacks Democrats’ high-speed rail bailout; urges Congress to ‘remember its responsibility to rural Americans’

Congressman Doug LaMalfa issued the following statement after Democrats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee rushed through a partisan $95.6 billion budget reconciliation measure that provides a windfall to high-speed rail projects while neglecting rural Americans. According to the bill, $26 billion in the transit funding provided goes to urbanized areas, while only $280 million supports rural areas.

“It is shameful that Democrats took advantage of what should be a bipartisan bill to bail out high-speed rail pet projects in urban districts at the expense of rural Americans,” LaMalfa said. “Prioritizing expensive and impractical high-speed rail projects like the fiasco of California’s High-Cost Rail Project ignores the real infrastructure needs of Americans throughout the rest of the country. Congress must remember its responsibility to rural Americans if it wants to move our country forward.”

The reconciliation package referred out of committee by a vote of 39-25 provides another $30 billion for urban transit – $10 billion more than the Biden administration requested – bringing total COVID relief funding for transit to $69 billion. This infusion comes even though Amtrak has not spent the $1 billion dollars it received in the last aid package and 60 percent of total transit funding hasn’t been spent. This measure now moves to the House Budget Committee for further consideration.

LaMalfa filed three amendments to the markup, including an amendment to capture remaining funds at the Federal Railroad Administration originally designated for the California High Speed Rail project and send them to the U.S. Forest Service for their underfunded road system. Democrats did not allow any of the 67 Republican amendments to pass, despite the Democrat Chairman expressing support for some proposals.