The Obama administration is proposing an additional $53 billion over the next six years to continue developing high-speed passenger rail. The plan, which Vice President Joe Biden announced on Feb. 8, would supplement $10.5 billion already appropriated for the rail program over the past two years. Congress will decide whether to provide the new funds. Biden said President Obama will seek $8 billion in his fiscal 2012 budget request. But House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) criticized the way the Dept. of Transportation has parceled out the $10.5 billion and said that adding $53 billion “is like giving Bernie Madoff another chance at handling your investment portfolio.”