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Slaughter praises call for high-speed rail funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Barack Obama is calling for a six-year, $53 billion spending plan for high-speed rail, as he seeks to use infrastructure spending to jumpstart job creation.

An initial $8 billion in spending will be part of the budget plan Obama is set to release Monday. If Congress approves the plan, the money would go toward developing or improving trains that travel up to 250 miles per hour, and connecting existing rail lines to new projects. The White House wouldn’t say where the money for the rest of the program would come from, though it’s likely Obama would seek funding in future budgets or transportation bills.

Rep. Louise Slaughter of Fairport quickly jumped on board to praise the announcement, saying the president’s investment is a clear indication that high speed rail will move forward in New York.

“I couldn’t be more pleased by the news because it makes clear our commitment to a 21st century rail system that will spark commerce, create jobs and trigger revitalization in our region for years to come,” Slaughter says in a release.

She was slated to be a featured speaker Tuesday after at the U.S. High Speed Rail Association’s Summit in Washington.