The economic recovery bill signed by President Barack Obama on Tuesday includes $8 billion for the development of high-speed rail, and additional billions are expected over the next few years, according to a report on Politico.com.
Most of the funding was added in a final closed-door bargaining by White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who apparentlly is focusing on high-speed train development as a legacy initiative for the administration, the report said.
The initiative may take the place of other signature issues--such as school construction and updating the electric grid--which face stiff opposition from Republicans.
Administration officials told Politico that when Obama outlines his 2010 budget next week, it will ask for $1 billion more for high-speed rail in each of the next five years.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will have 60 days to come up with a strategic plan for the funds.
Read the full report at the link below.