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Public transit association applauds State of the Union despite rail snub

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In a sharp departure from previous years' State of the Union addresses, in which when he vocally championed a nationwide network of railways, Obama said nothing about his vision for a network of railways he once vocally championed.

Republicans spent most of 2011 trying to put the brakes on Obama's rail initiatives in 2011. The GOP-led House voted last year to eliminate all funding for high-speed rail projects in the 2012 federal budget, arguing the railways would not generate enough revenue to cover their operational expenses. 

The GOP also used that argument to push for most of the last year to privatize the most popular Amtrak service, in the Northeast Corridor.

But Melaniphy made the counterargument Wednesday that Obama did not offer in his third State of the Union.

“As the nation continues down the path to economic recovery, public transportation offers solid, proven solutions,” the APTA president said. “For every $1 invested in public transportation, $4 is generated in economic returns. Further, public transportation investments help support hundreds of manufacturers around the country, the same ones that the president highlighted for driving economic growth and creating jobs.”