House panel approves Amtrak budget cut

Published: September 18, 2014

Amtrak LogoA bill that would cut Amtrak’s authorization for new construction spending by 40 percent was unanimously approved Wednesday by the House Transportation Committee.

The measure, which was passed on a voice vote with little debate, would reduce Amtrak’s authorized spending level for new construction from approximately $1.3 billion per year under the last Amtrak funding measure to about $770 million annually beginning next year.

Read the complete story at The Hill.

Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, issued the following statement Sept. 17 about the consideration of the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2014 (PRRIA) by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee:

“Today’s approval by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee of the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2014 is welcome news and represents important progress for both Amtrak and its almost 20,000 employees. This is not a perfect bill: we have specifically called on Congress to provide Amtrak the resources it needs to meet growing demand and to fund improvements and upgrades to an aging system. Still, this legislation is a bipartisan compromise, which we urged the committee to pass today. It rejects efforts made by some lawmakers to demonize Amtrak and undercut public support for passenger rail. We have gone from cheap political stunts that accomplish nothing to serious, thoughtful legislating. I want to commend Chairman Shuster, Ranking Member Rahall, Subcommittee Chair Denham and Ranking Member Brown for their cooperative approach and work on this legislation. We look forward to continuing efforts to provide Amtrak with the tools it needs to make our passenger rail network a driver of economic expansion and a creator of good, middle-class jobs.”