WASHINGTON, DC – Edward Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), offers the following statement regarding legislation to kill funding for the high speed rail program in the wake of efforts by the Governors-elect in Ohio and Wisconsin to derail these jobs-creating rail initiatives in their states:
“With today’s jobless report showing almost 1 out of 10 Americans still out of work, it is baffling that Members of Congress are proposing to kill job-creating high speed rail projects that have already been funded. Anyone who is out of work, or knows someone who is unemployed, should be outraged to know that certain elected officials are trying to score political points at the expense of thousands of good jobs.
“Governors-elect John Kasich (R-OH) and Scott Walker (R-WI) have announced that they will shut down high speed rail development in their states. In response, other states are lining up to use these abandoned funds. We wonder if voters in Ohio and Wisconsin will feel buyers’ remorse when they learn that their governors want to kill 30,000 jobs which will likely be shipped to other states that are moving ahead with their high speed rail initiatives.
“The bills introduced just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday (H.R. 6403 and H.R. 6408) make this bad situation worse by killing these investments and jobs altogether by directing the high speed rail and other stimulus funds back to the General Treasury. Instead of redirecting the high speed rail grant monies to other states where they can be put to work, these Members of Congress are saying the high speed rail funding should be rescinded, and it should not create a single job. This is not serious policy making while nearly 15 million Americans remain unemployed.
“These proposals may very well bend the unemployment curve – but unfortunately in the wrong direction.”
The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, represents 32 member unions in the aviation, rail, transit, trucking, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit www.ttd.org.