|1:01 PM EDT||
Carolyn Maloney, D-NY 14th
Mrs. MALONEY. Madam Chair, I rise in strong opposition to an offset included in this bill that would rescind all unobligated high-speed rail funding. I support the gentleman from New Jersey's efforts to address the flood, but it should not be taken from such an important investment in the economic strength of our country. It is also an investment in moving us to energy independence.
I would like to address my comments particularly to the Northeast Corridor, that is the corridor between New York and Washington and New York and Boston. This corridor is the most heavily traveled not only in the United States but probably in the world. And the MTA says that the corridor between New York and Boston, on day one, if we had high-speed rail, hundreds of thousands of people would travel it, and it would absolutely be a positive revenue source. It would literally make money because
of the ridership that is in that area and also in the area between New York and Washington.
In the money that was allocated, the MTA is focusing on high-speed rail between New York and Boston. And they are supporting the $294 million for the Harold Interlocking Amtrak Bypass Routes, which would create, according to analysis, well over 9,000 jobs immediately, as it is shovel-ready and ready to go. This is an investment towards high-speed rail, but it's needed right now to move three lines: the Long Island Railroad, Amtrak, and the New Jersey Transit. In this one area, the Interlocking
has over 783 trains moving through this each day from the three different transit systems. So this obviously needs to be upgraded to take care of delays and to be able to move people and commerce faster. Because of the way the Harold Interlocking is currently constructed, conflicts among [Page: H5036]
the three rail lines are frequent and result in delays, disruptions at Penn Station, and over the entire northeast corridor.
So this critical funding will be used to construct a bypass that would allow these trains to move conflict-free and quickly. It is fully designed, has undergone extensive environmental review, including a final environmental impact statement. This project is shovel-ready and will be completed--if not interrupted by this action on the floor--by 2017, and will, very importantly, move us towards high-speed rail between two of the major commerce centers in our country, between Boston and New York.
It would literally make money. To rescind this money would be penny-wise, pound-foolish, and would move us backwards. We should be investing in the economic corridors of our country, which is our rail, our high-speed rail.
I strongly, strongly support the high-speed rail and urge my colleagues for the economic strength of our future to vote against this amendment, this section that would rescind the money for the very needed high-speed rail that would move us into the 21st century to be able to compete and win in the 21st century, move our people, move our commerce, create jobs not only in the railroad but in the commerce that is between the two centers. We cannot afford to fall behind in our transportation system.
It's one of the things that made this country great. It is an important investment. It is an investment that would literally make money in the Northeast Corridor, and it would be absolutely tremendously foolish to rescind this investment towards the economic future of our country.
I yield back the balance of my time.