Rail Funding Gets a Surprising Boost

Cities need you. Support Next City and have your gift matched.Donate

Rail Funding Gets a Surprising Boost

The final stimulus package contains $8 billion for high-speed rail.

No one quite knows how or why it happened. But, for once, the mysterious mechanism of closed-door negotiation called a “conference committee,” where the House and Senate reconcile their different versions of a bill, produced something better than what was in the two original versions of the stimulus package. While the House version of the bill contained no money for high-speed rail, and the Senate version contained only $2 billion, the final version has $8 billion.

Politico says it was White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s doing and that it was largely the result of other Obama signature suggestions, such as school construction, having already been eliminated. Conservatives want to blame Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader from Nevada, because some of the money might go to building a high-speed rail line from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.

However it really happened, urbanists have reason to rejoice.

Ben Adler is a journalist in New York. He is a former reporter for Grist, The Nation, Newsweek and Politico, and he has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian and The New Republic.

Follow Ben

Tags: washington dc

×
Next City App Never Miss A StoryDownload our app ×
×

You've reached your monthly limit of three free stories.

This is not a paywall. Become a free or sustaining member to continue reading.

  • Read unlimited stories each month
  • Our email newsletter
  • Webinars and ebooks in one click
  • Our Solutions of the Year magazine
  • Support solutions journalism and preserve access to all readers who work to liberate cities

Join 837 other sustainers such as:

  • Anonymous in Shreveport, LA at $5/Month
  • Karis in Rocky River, OH at $100/Year
  • Jolene in Chicago, IL at $75/Year

Already a member? Log in here. U.S. donations are tax-deductible minus the value of thank-you gifts. Questions? Learn more about our membership options.

or pay by credit card:

All members are automatically signed-up to our email newsletter. You can unsubscribe with one-click at any time.

  • Donate $20 or $5/Month

    The 21 Best Solutions of 2021 special edition magazine

  • Donate $40 or $10/Month

    Brave New Home by Diana Lind