Continuing high-speed rail is critical

Editor’s note: U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) wrote to Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle and Governor-Elect Scott Walker after the decision to temporarily stop work on Wisconsin’s high-speed rail project. In an ongoing effort to provide multiple viewpoints about the high-speed rail issue, the text of Moore’s letter follows as today’s Milwaukee Biz Blog entry.

Dear Governor Doyle and Governor-Elect Walker:
It is critical that Wisconsin continue work on the high-speed rail line from Milwaukee to Madison that will eventually connect to the Twin Cities in Minnesota.
Offering more options to connect people to their jobs is an economic win-win for our state. This is especially true for low-income people, many of whom have no viable transportation option and can’t get to where the jobs are. And as part of the vision of a nationwide high speed rail network, the economic benefits to our state will be plentiful.
In Milwaukee, Talgo will create jobs building cars for high speed rail.  They will build cars for rail in Oregon, and they should be able to build rail cars to be used in Wisconsin as well.  Stopping work on the project puts these jobs in great jeopardy. 
This is about our future, not about our past.
We all share the same goal of creating good jobs for Wisconsinites.  The election is over, and this shouldn’t be about politics.  It should be about people and family-supporting jobs.  Undoubtedly, building a high speed rail line creates jobs.  And more jobs will come once it is operational.
Furthermore, the truth remains, if the funding isn’t used in Wisconsin for high-speed rail, the funding will not be used in Wisconsin at all.  Sending this funding back is misguided and does nothing to help Wisconsin taxpayers.  If anything, it sends their money away to build high-speed rail somewhere else.
As it stands today, Wisconsin gets less back from the Federal government than Wisconsinites pay in Federal taxes.  Sending $810 million back to Washington only makes this worse. 

Gwen Moore
Member of Congress

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