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Help Work for FY23 Intercity and High-Speed Rail Appropriations

April 22, 2022

Congress is in the midst of the federal budget process, which will determine funding levels for passenger rail for Fiscal Year 2023. While the federal infrastructure bill, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), authorized record funding for trains over the next five years, Congress still needs to appropriate much of this funding every year so the money can be put to use. That’s why we need rail advocates to get engaged in this process.

Please contact your members of Congress and ask them to fully authorize funding for Amtrak and passenger rail in FY23 appropriations, and provide dedicated funding for high-speed rail.

The budget process has kicked off with positive signs for passenger rail. On March 28, President Biden submitted his budget plan, which included significant funding for trains. The U.S. Department of Transportation also released their plans for how these funds would be used in FY23, and Amtrak submitted its FY23 General and Legislative Annual Report to Congress. These proposals both suggested record levels of funding for passenger rail, and it’s encouraging to see Amtrak make ambitious requests.

Now the budget process is moving on to the Transportation Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee, and there is a push within Congress to make sure passenger rail and high-speed rail are funded. Representative Moulton (D-MA), a leading national advocate for high-speed rail, is distributing two sign-on letters to members of the House. The first asks members to join together to ask that Amtrak and rail programs be fully authorized in FY23 appropriations. This is a bipartisan effort, with Representative Fitzpatrick (R-PA) joining Moulton in this effort.

The second letter circulating in Congress requests THUD to include $3.5 billion for high-speed rail grants. The goal of this funding is to build a pipeline of high-speed rail projects and to direct funding to true high-speed rail systems. Investing in these advanced and proven transportation systems will support long-term economic growth, quality of life, and sustainability.

We appreciate that Congressman Moulton is taking the lead on this issue by circulating these letters. Last year, Moulton and his team did a great job building support for high-speed rail, putting together a coalition of 80 lawmakers asking for dedicated high-speed rail funding. Rep. Moulton has been a champion for high-speed rail during his time in office, and he actually joined us for a webinar about his proposal for a nationwide rail network.

You can add your voice to this effort by contacting your representatives right now. Tell them you support the maximum authorization for Amtrak and passenger rail programs, and dedicated funding for high-speed rail.

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