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Letter To The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, The Honorable Thad Cochran, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, The Honorable Harold Rogers, Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriat

Last Friday, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined the Bicameral High-Speed & Intercity Passenger Rail Caucus and other Senate and House colleagues to urge leaders of the Appropriations Committees to maintain $1 billion for high-speed and intercity passenger rail programs in the "Continuing Resolution (CR)" to fund the government for Fiscal Year 2011 and to maintain already-awarded TIGER and high-speed rail projects. The $1 billion mark is consistent with the President's budget request for FY11.

"Only bold investments in our nation's infrastructure will help us build a foundation for a stronger future, compete in the global economy and improve national security," a coalition of 19 Senators and 63 House Members wrote to the Chairman and Ranking Members of both committees. "High-speed and intercity passenger rail will promote economic growth, create jobs, and foster urban and rural community development. High-speed rail generates good-paying manufacturing and construction jobs in the United States. It also creates opportunities in our communities for economic development, especially near rail stations, which are an attractive location for stores and offices that benefit from increased commuter and tourist traffic."

Sen. Carper, a regular passenger rail rider and a leading advocate for the investment in high-speed rail, signed the letter with the Bicameral High-Speed & Intercity Passenger Rail Caucus, a coalition of Members of Congress from across the country who understand the potential of high-speed and passenger rail to create jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and drive a 21st century economy.

A copy of the letter is below:

April 1, 2011

The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye
Chairman
Senate Committee on Appropriations
S-146A, United States of Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Thad Cochran
Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Appropriations
S-128, United States Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Harold Rogers
Chairman
House Committee on Appropriations
H-307, United States Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Norm Dicks
Ranking Member
House Committee on Appropriations
1016 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairmen Inouye and Rogers and Ranking Members Cochran and Dicks:

As you continue to negotiate the long-term Continuing Resolution (CR) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, we strongly urge you to maintain the $1 billion for the high-speed and intercity passenger rail programs in the Senate's full-year CR, which is consistent with the President's budget request for FY11, and to maintain FY10 and ARRA funding for already awarded TIGER and high-speed rail projects. Only bold investments in our nation's infrastructure will help us build a foundation for a stronger future, compete in the global economy and improve national security.

High-speed and intercity passenger rail will promote economic growth, create jobs, and foster urban and rural community development. High-speed rail generates good-paying manufacturing and construction jobs in the United States. It also creates opportunities in our communities for economic development, especially near rail stations, which are an attractive location for stores and offices that benefit from increased commuter and tourist traffic.

High-speed rail can help curb our dependence on foreign oil, begin a path to energy independence, and increase the safety and security of Americans. We are facing volatile prices for gasoline and the wholesale price of crude oil is rising to record highs, burdening our families and industries with rising costs. Today's intercity passenger rail service consumes one-third less energy per passenger-mile than cars. Further, it is estimated that if we build high-speed rail lines on all federally-designated corridors, it could result in an annual reduction of six billion pounds of carbon dioxide. A national high-speed and intercity passenger rail system would also serve as a modern network to move both civilian and military personnel at a moment's notice.

We acknowledge that this year's budget decisions are difficult, but we urge you to reject rescission of already awarded projects and continue support for high-speed and intercity passenger rail that will create jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and drive a 21st century economy.

Sincerely,

U.S. Representative Louise M. Slaughter
Co-Chair Bicameral HSIPR Caucus

U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg
Co-Chair Bicameral HSIPR Caucus

U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin
Co-Chair Bicameral HSIPR Caucus

U.S. Representative Corrine Brown
Co-Chair Bicameral HSIPR Caucus

U.S. Representative David Price
Co-Chair Bicameral HSIPR Caucus

U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren
Co-Chair Bicameral HSIPR Caucus

U.S. Representative Tim Walz
Co-Chair Bicameral HSIPR Caucus

U.S. Representative John Larson
Vice Chair Bicameral HSIPR Caucus

U.S. Representative Robert Andrews
Vice Chair Bicameral HSIPR Caucus

U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer
Vice Chair Bicameral HSIPR Caucus

U.S. Representative Laura Richardson
Vice Chair Bicameral HSIPR Caucus

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin

U.S. Senator Thomas R. Carper

U.S. Senator Christopher A. Coons

U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand

U.S. Senator John F. Kerry

U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu

U.S. Senator Patrick J. Leahy

U.S. Senator Carl Levin

U.S. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley

U.S. Senator Jack Reed

U.S. Senator Bernard Sanders

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

U.S. Senator John D. Rockefeller IV


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