January 27th, 2010
08:33 AM ET
13 years ago

Obama to announce high-speed rail funds

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/07/art.obama01062.gi.jpg caption="The day after his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama will announce the awarding of $8 billion in high-speed rail funds during a town hall meeting in Tampa, Florida, according to White House officials."]Washington (CNN) - The day after his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama will announce the awarding of $8 billion in high-speed rail funds during a town hall meeting in Tampa, Florida, according to White House officials.

Obama will tap federal stimulus funds to give out the money which is aimed at helping improve commuting throughout the country while also creating jobs, which is the overriding message of his Wednesday night speech.

Obama's appearance in Tampa with Vice President Joe Biden is fueling speculation that one of the awards will be for rail funds connecting Tampa and Orlando, but White House officials are not yet confirming which cities will benefit.

The officials said that a half-dozen cabinet members and top administration officials will appear in cities across the nation Thursday to announce awarding of the funds, which will be spread out across 31 states in all.

soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    We need this because it will slow the growth of car and air traffic as well as green house gases. I would like to see it go up and down the east and west coasts as well as along the Mississippi and at least one going across the country. Every other major industrialized country has it.

    This will create jobs to plan it; construction jobs to build it; continuous jobs to have the trains staffed and maintained. This is a better way to travel. You can always rent a car upon arrival.

    January 27, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  2. AJ

    It would be nice if he awarded funds first to a place that actually voted for him.

    January 27, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  3. C Spurgeon

    This is good but we should put one in across the country to catch up with the rest of world...

    January 27, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  4. USN

    Which is it ? Cutting , freezing or spending . Does this guy know anything?

    January 27, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |

    Like the President said many months ago–the changes and developments to our infastructure will take some time and cannot be done in a day. Now, we start to move at a solid pace to changing the scenery of our traveling across this great country of ours –America for All!!

    January 27, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  6. Tony

    That's what we need to turn this economy around: more trains that people won't use. Excellent work, Mr. President!

    January 27, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  7. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Any guesses as to who in Florida Obama is paying off–or paying back–with that $8 billion?

    January 27, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. Ron in California

    Spend it all. let the next 10 generations pay for it. It is really important to have a high speed rail between Tampa and Orlando...My God it is only a two hour drive. You would think Miami/Orlando would make more sense.

    January 27, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. Terry from West Texas

    High speed rail makes a lot of sense. Air travel has never been an economic success even though it is heavily subsidized by the tax payers whose money builds and maintains the airports, manages air traffic, and regulates the industry. This will never go anywhere because the industry has plenty of $$$ to bribe our elected representatives with.

    January 27, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  10. ronvan

    Now this is a project that needs getting done! Our rail system is a joke! It would not surprise me that some of our rail systems were built in the 40s, and just like our highways, have been "spot repaired" where needed.
    A COMPLETELY rebuilt, reliable, rail system would not only create jobs in many states but upon completion should reduce alot of car use, pollution, oil consumption, ect.. BUT it needs to be done right, no shortcuts, and "watchfull" eyes on how the money is being spent!

    January 27, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. Herbert Harper

    Government stimulus whether for high speed rail or other projects is not going to solve a thing. An automatic annual cost of living adjustment to the minimum wage will. In 1968, the Minimum Wage was $1.60/hour ($9.12 in 2005 dollars.)
    Now let's talk about modern day slavery!

    What I'd like to know is why the media doesn't ever bring this minimum wage atrocity up?

    January 27, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  12. Selma Crandall

    Oh yeah we need that! This is more Obomba pandering to the minorities of Tampa and Orlando areas. What about the rest of the state, huh? You know, the ones of us who have to pay for that silly crap?

    January 27, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  13. Dar

    Hummmmm more goverment jobs? I like the idea of this but worry that Odumbo has other agendas here like putting a band aid on the problem and not fixing it.
    I mean once the rail system is complete most all of the labor help will lose their jobs.
    LABOR, LABOR UNIONS, thats what this is all about, he is going to give his union buddys jobs. I knew their had to be a ploy here. OH my God this guy is a peice of dung.
    Yup, freeze money for other things that will cost the loss of jobs and give them to the unions.
    This guy has got to go.

    2010/2012 REAL Change is coming

    January 27, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. Steve (the real one)

    Study this hard and move slowly! Amtrak is still on training wheels (not profitable). What makes us think this will be any different? In order to be successful, it will have to be self sustaining over time!

    January 27, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  15. Scott, Tucson

    I thought they ran out of stimulus funding? I'm surprise he didn't put the high speed rail system between Chicago and Detroit but that may come in 2011 as a last gasp for votes.

    January 27, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  16. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    I like choo choo trains. They use less fuel to move stuff long distances than trucks do. Hooray for choo choo trains! Have a nice day!

    January 27, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  17. JES

    Do you have any ideas that dosen't include sending us deeper in debt. All I see is spend what you don't have, tax the rich until they don't have anyting else left to tax, raise taxes, and not listen to the people out here.

    I thought we had a government of the people by the people for the people but I guess that was over two hundred years ago.

    January 27, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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