Can you believe Biden had the nerve to say this?
President Joe Biden visited Las Vegas on Friday, announcing a swift advancement in high-speed rail projects while taking the opportunity to criticize his predecessor and potential 2024 rival, Donald Trump, as a “do nothing politician”.
In a gathering with unionized carpenters, Biden asserted, “Trump talks the talk. We walk the walk.” He dismissed Trump’s characterization of America as a failing nation, stating, “Frankly, he doesn’t know what the h*** he’s talking about. I see shovels in the ground, cranes in the sky, people hard at work rebuilding America together.”
The president revealed a federal funding injection of $8.2 billion for ten major passenger rail initiatives nationwide. This move not only showcased Biden’s commitment to rail projects but also underscored the distinctions between his approach and Trump’s, signaling a growing political dimension in his policy speeches with the upcoming election on the horizon.
Biden accused Trump of failing to fulfill promises regarding U.S. infrastructure investment. In contrast, he highlighted the potential of his rail funding to establish high-speed train connections between Las Vegas and Los Angeles before the 2028 Summer Olympics, aiming to reduce travel times, benefit the environment, and generate employment.
The president envisions that collaborative efforts between federal and state programs will enhance the prospects of the proposed 218-mile train route, connecting Las Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga, California, potentially serving over 11 million passengers annually.
Among the funded rail projects is an electric rail line touted as the nation’s inaugural high-speed route, slated to traverse California’s Central Valley, reaching speeds of up to 220 mph and extending from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
While acknowledging that the funding falls short of covering the entire costs for these projects, it signals the Biden administration’s commitment to promoting train travel in a country traditionally associated with fast cars and open highways.
In addition to the rail-related announcements, Biden addressed the recent shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, advocating for Congress to enact an assault weapons ban to curb gun violence.
Biden’s visit, originally planned before the shooting incident, reflects his enduring advocacy for passenger rail, a mode of transportation he championed during his lengthy tenure as a senator. The president has consistently supported substantial federal investments in passenger rail, as demonstrated by last month’s $16 billion allocation for rail travel along the Northeast Corridor.
However, turning high-speed rail into a reality in California faces challenges, with the state’s initial project experiencing prolonged delays and cost overruns. Despite ongoing construction and land acquisition in the Central Valley, the project’s CEO, Brian Kelly, emphasized the importance of additional federal funding for its progress. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg acknowledged the challenges faced by such pioneering projects but expressed confidence in their ability to deliver results.