By Keith Laing
"If our nation’s intercity passenger rail system — and the transportation system of the United States as a whole — is to be developed and sustained, it is imperative that Amtrak and other federal rail programs be integrated into a comprehensive and truly multi-modal surface transportation authorization bill,” McHugh said.
Congress recently passed a short-term extension of the SAFETEA-LU bill, which funds highways and public transportation through September. House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica (R-Fla) has criticized the short-term extensions, and supports a six-year bill.
The Obama administration has proposed spending $556 billion on transportation over that period, but Republicans in both chambers have indicated that increase is unlikely to gain legislative traction.