[Bleeding Heartland Logo]

About
Bleeding Heartland is a community blog about Iowa politics: campaigns and elections, state government, social and environmental issues. Bleeding Heartland also weighs in on presidential policies and campaigns, federal legislation and what the Iowans in Congress are up to. Join our community, post your thoughts as comments or diaries, help keep our leaders honest and hold them accountable.
Author
- desmoinesdem
Highlights
- Iowa politics in 2008
- Iowa politics in 2009 (1)
- Iowa politics in 2009 (2)
- National politics in 2009 (1)
- National politics in 2009 (2)
- Iowa 2012 election coverage
- Who's who in the Iowa House for 2013
- Who's who in the Iowa Senate for 2013
- Iowa wildflowers
2014 Election Coverage
- IA-Sen
- IA-Gov
- IA-01
- IA-02
- IA-03
- IA-04
- Secretary of Agriculture
- Secretary of State
- State Auditor
- Iowa Senate overview
- Iowa House overview
- Senate district 5
- Senate district 7
- Senate district 9
- Senate district 13
- Senate district 15
- Senate district 17
- Senate district 27
- Senate district 39
- Senate district 41
- Senate district 47
- Senate district 49
- House district 25
- House district 28
- House district 33 (2013)
- House district 51
- House district 60
- House district 65
- House district 68
- House district 73
- House district 91
- House district 92
- House district 95
- House district 99
Search




Advanced Search


Paid Advertising


Bleeding Heartland
It's what plants crave.

Iowa-Chicago rail funding secure despite election

by: desmoinesdem

Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 14:48:26 PM CDT


The Republican takeover of the House of Representatives will change transportation policy priorities, but should not affect recently announced funding for a Chicago to Iowa City passenger rail link. KCCI-TV questioned this week, "Will Election Changes Kill Iowa-Chicago Train Funding?"

Florida Rep. John Mica, the comittee's ranking GOP member, told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday that he believes high-speed trains are a good idea, but he doesn't agree with the projects selected by the Transportation Department for funding.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was in Iowa just last week, where he joined local leaders to celebrate $230 million in federal money to start work on a passenger rail line. Service on the new GreenLine is expected to begin in 2015 and take passengers from Chicago's Union Station to the Quad Cities to Iowa City.

I contacted the Federal Railroad Administration today to find out whether there is any way for Congress to reverse the passenger rail funding decisions. FRA spokesman Rob Kulat said, "You'd have to ask Chairman Mica" how he thinks he can do that, adding, "The money has been awarded." When I asked about a possible review process, Kulat repeated, "The money has been awarded."

The Wall Street Journal reported on November 3 that the newly elected Republican governors of Ohio and Wisconsin want to cancel passenger rail projects in their states. The same article said Iowa Governor-elect Terry Branstad "has supported expanding rail service between Chicago and cities in Iowa." However, in late October Branstad's campaign manager "declined to comment" when the Des Moines Register asked "if Branstad would support the use of state money to establish Chicago-to-Iowa City passenger service."

Some Republicans claimed the passenger rail grant was a political ploy to help endangered Democrats in Iowa and the Quad Cities. If so, it didn't work. Representative Phil Hare lost his re-election bid in Illinois' 17th Congressional district, including Rock Island and Moline. Representative Bruce Braley was re-elected narrowly but trailed his Republican opponent in Scott County, containing Davenport and Bettendorf. Governor Chet Culver didn't carry Scott County either.

It's too bad the outgoing Congress didn't approve a comprehensive transportation funding bill. Transportation Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar had a strong vision for balancing priorities and increasing investments in passenger rail and public transit. The Republicans who will write the new highway bill have little interest in rail or the administration's efforts to make roads more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly. At a Congressional hearing this March, Iowa's own Tom Latham asserted that every bicyclist is one fewer person paying into the transportation trust fund.

desmoinesdem :: Iowa-Chicago rail funding secure despite election
Tags: , , , , , , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email
Tweet This!

Menu

Make a New Account

Username:

Password:



Forget your username or password?


Iowa Liberal Blogs
- Ames Progressive
- Blog For Iowa
- Essential Estrogen
- Iowa .Gif-t Shop
- Iowa Independent (archive)
- Iowa Policy Points
- Iowans for a Future That Doesn't Suck
- John Deeth
Iowa Conservative Blogs
- Hawkeye GOP
- The Bean Walker
- Caffeinated Thoughts
- The Conservative Reader: Iowa
- The Iowa Republican
Journalists' blogs and research
- 24-Hour Dorman
- Cedar Rapids Gazette government page
- Iowa Fiscal Partnership
- Iowa Policy Project
- Iowa Politics Insider
- Iowa Watchdog.org
- On Brief: Iowa's Appellate Blog
- On the Campaign Trail with Ed Tibbetts
- Newton Independent (Peter Hussmann)
- Politically Speaking
- Price of Politics, etc.
- O.Kay Henderson at Radio Iowa
Iowa Democrats
- Tom Harkin (U.S. Senator)
- Bruce Braley (IA-01)
- Dave Loebsack (IA-02)
- Iowa Democratic Party
- Iowa House Democrats
- Iowa Senate Democrats
Statistics


 
Powered by: SoapBlox