This afternoon, I announced that the Department of Transportation will redirect $1.195 billion in high-speed rail money originally headed for Wisconsin and Ohio to high-speed rail projects underway elsewhere. Because Wisconsin and Ohio are not moving forward on high-speed rail projects, more money is available for other states. And we are happy to help them get their high-speed rail projects off the ground.
Last year, the Obama Administration provided $8 billion to jump-start a national high-speed rail program in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). For that first $8 billion investment, we received more than $55 billion in requests. We were similarly oversubscribed for the second round of awards--we received $8.8 billion worth of requests for only $2.4 billion in available funding.
I am pleased that so many states have been enthusiastic about the additional support they will now receive. But it’s no wonder. High-speed rail will modernize America’s transportation network, spur economic development domestically and jumpstart our manufacturing sector. In addition, it will keep the U.S. competitive with other leading nations.
Look, high-speed rail will transform US transportation in a way we haven't seen since President Eisenhower launched the Interstate Highway System more than a half-century ago. And, looking at the advances other nations have already achieved in high-speed rail, it's clear that our investment in this game-changing technology is long overdue.
Investing in high-speed rail will reinvigorate our manufacturing sector and put Americans back to work in good-paying jobs. Last year, we received a commitment from 30 domestic and foreign rail manufacturers that they would establish or expand their operations in the US if selected for high-speed rail contracts. More importantly, they agreed to build these rail networks with American workers using American-made materials. We're ensuring maximum economic benefit with a 100 percent "Buy American" requirement.
States set to receive high-speed rail dollars are: California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin (for its existing Hiawatha line).
The Recovery Act was designed to provide an economic boost to our nation, and that’s what we’re committed to doing. Redirecting these funds will ensure American taxpayers get a good return on their Recovery Act dollars, and that money goes to projects that will be a success.