Battle for Amtrak’s Survival Continues in 2006

As we begin a new year, TCU officers and representatives face an ever increasing challenge. This year will find the continuation of our battle to preserve Amtrak and national passenger service for the American public. Although we were successful in securing funding for Amtrak for fiscal year 2006, Congress continued to push for “reforms”—reforms that will not be beneficial for Amtrak and its employees.

The Amtrak battle has already started when President Bush used his power to make recess appointments of two Amtrak Board members, Floyd Hall and Enrique Sosa. These individuals were appointed based on their support of Bush and not because they have any expertise in operating Amtrak. Their re-appointment was based on their support of the Administration’s desire to kill Amtrak. Reuters News Service has reported that neither Hall nor Sosa “has support among Amtrak backers on Capitol Hill.”

Floyd Hall is a former chief executive of K-Mart and Enrique Sosa was the former president of BP Amoco Chemicals. They are both big contributors to Republican political campaigns. TCU President Bob Scardelletti agrees with TTD President Ed Wytkind who has referred to the re-appointment of Hall and Sosa as a “triumph of cronyism over competence.”

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