America First, for Real: Biden Pours $16.4 Billion into Safer, Faster Passenger Rail
Passenger rail will be thought of as Before and After Biden. The President is pouring $16.4 billion for passenger rail projects that will create over 100,000 good paying jobs.
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The President who is known as “Amtrak Joe” because he took the train so much as a Senator — in total he traveled over a million Amtrak miles! - will announce a big investment in passenger rail today, with $16.4 billion for 25 passenger rail projects on Amtrak Northeast Corridor.
This will move the United States “closer to his vision for world class passenger rail,” as Senior Adviser to the President and White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu said on a call with reporters in which we participated.
Republicans killed Obama’s high-speed rail plans
It’s hard to believe that we have not invested in basic transportation like rail in over 100 years. President Obama had a rail plan that got derailed (pardon the pun) by Republicans.
In fact, a report showed that Republican governors passed on high-speed rail so that Obama wouldn’t get a “win.” That’s how they see things- not as wins for their constituents, but as wins for a Democratic president, which is to say something they will kill if possible. They literally rejected federal funds that would have helped the people all so Obama wouldn’t get a win.
These people are tiresome, and they’ve brought this country down — dragging it down to their level for decades now. But to be fair and to appreciate a moment of unity, Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is funding this new investment in rail. Some Republicans helped this happen, and bravo to them for not being as petty as their colleagues.
Turn of the Century Infrastructure
The Northeast Corridor, which was Biden’s route, is also the most traveled Route corridor in the country, which supports 800,000 trips per day between the metro areas of DC Baltimore, Philly, New York and Boston, and yet parts of it date over 100 years.
The Northeast Corridor was built back to the 1830s “and many of its existing bridges and tunnels were built at the turn of the century of the 20th century and many are more than 100 years old,” Mayor Landrieu explained.
Joe Jobs Biden
But what about the jobs? JOBS JOBS JOBS, that should be Biden’s middle name at this point. The economy created 14 million jobs created since Biden took office, far, far exceeding any expected bounce back from the pandemic.
And these are good jobs. Union jobs. Well over 100,000 jobs. With benefits. And the materials will be made in America, which means a positive expansion effect for jobs.
“And we're going to do all this while creating good, high-paying union jobs to boot. The investments announcements on Monday are expected to create well over 100,000 jobs right here in the Northeast Corridor. And Amtrak is committed to operate all major construction projects on the collective bargaining agreements,” Landrieu said to reporters.
I asked the White House to flesh out the job numbers a bit:
“So in terms of the federal state northeast corridor program that we're talking about today we're estimating over 100,000 jobs,” a senior administration official said. “And specifically, that figure builds on the Hudson Tunnel Project, which breaks down to roughly 70,000 projected jobs, and 30,000 projected jobs on the new Frederick Douglass tunnel. Those are just two of the concrete examples right now. But we are estimating those are just two of the biggest job generators. It will be over 100,000 jobs.”
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