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Full Text of this Amendment

SA 490. Mr. SESSIONS submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill S. 782, to amend the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 to reauthorize that Act, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

On page 29, after line 20, insert the following:
SEC. 22. REPORTS TO CONGRESS.
(a) Funding Limitation.--No Federal funds may be obligated by the Secretary of Transportation or any other Federal officer for any study, project, or other effort to carry out the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program until at least 6 months after the Congress receives the reports required under subsections (b) and (c).
(b) Government Accountability Office Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit a report to Congress that contains--
(1) cost projections for carrying out President Obama's goal of building a high-speed rail system that gives 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail by 2036;
(2) the amount of government subsidies that would be needed to operate and maintain each high-speed rail line receiving funding in the first 10 years of operation;
(3) a review of the cost-benefit analysis methods used to evaluate grant requests for high-speed rail projects, including the impact of such analyses on the grant award process;
(4) a review of the accuracy and methodology of the cost estimates of the California High-Speed Rail Authority and the California Legislative Analyst's Office;
(5) a review of the accuracy and methodology of ridership estimates for each grant recipient;
(6) an analysis of the reasons for cost increases of 15 percent or greater since the time the application was received for any grant-recipient project;
(7) the principle reasons behind the decisions by the States of Florida, Wisconsin, and Ohio to return Federal funding for high-speed rail projects in those States; and
(8) a review of--
(A) all high-speed rail projects costing more than $1,000,000,000 that have been constructed, or proposed for construction, in countries within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; and
(B) available data concerning government subsidies for the projects referred to in subparagraph (A), including cost overruns and profitability.
(c) Inspector General Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation shall submit a report to Congress regarding Federal grants awarded for high-speed rail projects that includes--
(1) a description of the process by which the Department of Transportation incorporated the volatility of the development, planning, and construction cost estimates into its decision making process when awarding grants and choosing routes and segments;
(2) a description of how the Department of Transportation valued the expected level or potential need for government subsidies to operate and maintain high-speed rail lines receiving funding in the first 10 years of operation;
(3) a review of the cost benefit analysis used by the Department of Transportation when deciding to award the grants and how that analysis influenced the award of Federal funds; and
(4) a review of the impact of the Department of Transportation's decision making process and cost benefit analyses on the high-speed rail grant awards.


(As printed in the Congressional Record for the Senate on Jun 20, 2011.)