Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Congressman Garamendi, Author of Critical High Speed Rail Legislation, Praises DOT’s $900 Million HSR Grant to California, Renews Call for Parts, Trains & Track to be Made in America

October 28, 2010
Press Release

LIVERMORE, CA – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA), the author of legislation that got the ball rolling on high speed rail in California, today praised the Department of Transportation for allotting at least $900 million in grants to California for the state’s continued construction of its planned high speed rail network. He also urged the Administration to continue with further investments in rail infrastructure and to prioritize contracts that Make It In America. Earlier this year, California received $2.25 billion in grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"We must rebuild our nation’s transportation infrastructure. By investing in the manufacturing of transportation equipment and parts, we put people to work, export our products to the world, and grow our economy," said Congressman Garamendi, the only member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee from Northern California. "This $900 million for California high speed rail brings us one step closer to a future economy that works for every American."

"Just yesterday, China debuted its latest high speed rail expansion, while America is still in our early construction phase at best – and you better believe most of China’s equipment and trains are made in China," Garamendi added. "It’s time we responded in kind and made sure that our tax dollars are going to developing the latest transportation and clean technology right here in America. Our future success as an economic dynamo with a large and vibrant middle class depends on it."

Congressman Garamendi is the author of four bills to “Make It In America” and bring back America’s manufacturing sector, the backbone of America’s middle class. Three of his bills: close tax loopholes that award the offshoring of American jobs; offer tax incentives to American businesses to invest in the capital improvements that allow them to expand and hire new workers; and end federal subsidies for foreign-produced clean technology. A fourth bill, the Buses, Rail Cars, Ferryboats: Make it in America Act of 2010 (H.R. 5791), would create American jobs by eliminating three waivers to the Buy America requirement and ensuring that taxpayer dollars are spent on American-made buses, rail cars, and ferryboats. Transit agencies would have to look to American manufacturers for their transportation equipment needs unless it increases costs by 25 percent or more, thereby putting welders, engineers, mechanics, electricians, technicians, and other Americans back to work.

In 1989, then-State Senator Garamendi co-authored legislation (SB 1307 and AB 1856) with then-Assemblymember Jim Costa (now also a Congressman) to launch high speed rail service in California. Their legislation, nearly 20 years later, culminated in the $10 billion high speed rail bond approved by the California electorate in November 2008. This bond is the primary reason why California has by far received more federal HSR money than any other state.

Nationwide, $2.4 billion were distributed for high speed rail today. For more information on the Department of Transportation’s high speed rail announcement, please visit https://fastlane.dot.gov/2010/10/dot-awards-24-billion-to-continue-developing-21st-century-high-speed-passenger-rail-corridors.html.