Paul Ryan, Romney’s VP Pick, Has A Long Anti-HSR Record
Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin member of Congress who is best known for his budget proposal that would privatize Social Security and gut Medicare, was announced this morning as Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential nominee. Ryan’s hostility to federal spending predictably extends to passenger rail and high speed rail in particular.
Ryan has repeatedly voted against Amtrak and rail authorizations. He stood by Wisconsin governor Scott Walker as he attempted to use that state’s HSR funds for road projects, calling HSR “a bad investment for taxpayers”. His budget would, unsurprisingly, defund high speed rail completely.
His House Committee on the Budget has denounced the California high speed rail project in strong terms, giving it a “budget boondoggle award” in June 2011.
A Romney-Ryan Administration, then, would guarantee no federal HSR funds for at least another four years. They would likely defund Amtrak entirely, leaving California to foot the bill for passenger rail service all on its own. On the other hand, President Obama has been a staunch advocate of more funding for high speed rail. The two tickets could not be more different on the issue if they tried.