1AC – Policy Version
Plan: The United States federal government should substantially increase its investment in
a national alternative energy powered high-speed rail network.
Contention 1: Inherency
High Speed Rail funding is blocked – transportation sq funding only goes to maintaining
, Award-winning journalist. Has been published by the New York Times, The Washington Post, etc. ,
June 24, 2012( Merrill, House Puts the Brakes on High Speed Rail
, June 24, 2012
25, 2012) pg. 1
(House Republicans, however, are blocking all new grants arguing that repairing current systems is the priority.
“Funding should go to existing infrastructure needs rather than unrealistic new high-speed rail lines to nowhere,” the
appropriations committee report accompanying the legislation said.
The program, now funded by regular
appropriations, was axed from the Transportation Department funding bill last week, drawing a veto threat from the
The effort to cage the TIGER grants is only the latest effort by House conservatives to slow down or
eliminate funding for mass transit, freight rail and high-speed rail projects, which they see as a waste of money on
“trains to nowhere.” Last February, the initial House reauthorization of the surface transportation trust fund, which
allocates the gasoline tax, eliminated the 20 percent set-aside for rail projects that was established by President
Ronald Reagan in 1982. Only a revolt by Republican legislators from the suburbs outside New York City,
Philadelphia and Chicago forced House Transportation Committee chairman John Mica, R-Fla., to withdraw the bill.
Now, with a June 30
deadline looming, the summer road construction season could grind to a halt if Congress
doesn’t at least extend the current law.
A conference committee led by Mica and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Cal., must wrestle with a set of
extraneous provisions attached to the two-year, $109 billion extension pushed by the House. They range from approving the Keystone oil pipeline
from Canada to giving utilities more flexibility in how they dump coal ash.)
Contention 2: Competitiveness
Current transportation investment goes to maintaining the current highway system.
focus kills US economic competitiveness
Ed Fund, bipartisan coalition of elected officials focused on US investment in infrastructure,
America’s Future Educational Fund, “Building America’s Future – Falling Apart and Falling Behind,”
Transportation Infrastructure Report] SM
In stark contrast to our
most agile and aggressive foreign competitors
, the U.S. stands increasingly alone in our failure to
reorient our transportation spending
according to a new forward-looking vision
that could build a
network fit for a 21st-century economy
. Without a
similarly strategic plan of attack to create a state-of
, the U.S. will be left far behind
. This striking lack of vision is a debilitating problem. Instead of taking a