Kerry: High-Speed Rail is Full-Speed Ahead
Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), lead author of the High-Speed Rail for America Act, released the following statement today applauding reports that President Barack Obama will award $8 billion in stimulus funding to high-speed rail projects on Thursday.
"High speed rail is jobs and the future," said Sen. Kerry. "This investment will create immediate jobs, help fix our crumbling infrastructure system, and put our rail systems on par with the high-tech systems across the globe. By investing in essential high speed rail projects like those in the Northeast Corridor, President Obama will set us on a course to transform America's outdated and underfunded passenger rail into a world-class system."
As a member of the Finance Committee, Senator Kerry worked diligently to include significant investments in high-speed rail corridors as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Kerry provision allows transit projects to receive tax-exempt financing and requires that high-speed trains must be reasonably expected to reach 150 miles per hour.
The bill also includes a provision modeled after Kerry's rail legislation that would exempt interest from private activity bonds from the Alternative Minimum Tax, including interest from high-speed rail bonds. This change would make bonds more attractive to investors.