The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376), an infrastructure bill containing $10 billion in funding for high-speed rail and $10 billion for a transit program focused on increasing access to housing and jobs.
“We applaud the work House leadership has done with the Build Back Better Act, which will establish a new program to advance high-speed rail projects,” said Jim Mathews, President & CEO of the Rail Passengers Association. “The Passenger Rail Improvement, Modernization and Expansion (PRIME) grant program, in conjunction with the rail programs in the bipartisan infrastructure bill, will play a vital role in creating new high-capacity, high-speed, electrified rail corridors. These services will provide access to a safer, more energy-efficient mode of intercity transportation for tens of millions of Americans.”
The bill passed the House by a nearly party line vote, with 220 Democrats voting yes and 212 Republican nays, with Democrat Jared Golden of Maine crossing the aisle to vote against the legislation. The bill will now move to the Senate, where it will be subject to intense negotiations over the final shape of the programs. However, the Senate will be able to use budget reconciliation to pass the bill through a simple majority, avoiding the filibuster.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has publicly stated he hopes to clear the bill before the December recess, which would put the legislation on track for final passage before the end of the year.
You can still share your support for high-speed rail with your Senators!