Amtrak Amendment Adopted

Amtrak Amendment Adopted
January 17, 2003…Thursday evening, January 16, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) offered an amendment (S. Amendment .30) to the pending Appropriations bill to restore Amtrak to the full funding amount requested of $1.2 billion for FY 2003. The $1.2 billion is absolutely essential in order to keep Amtrak operating. Without full funding Amtrak will not survive. Amtrak will go bankrupt and shut its doors, leaving thousands of Amtrak riders unable to travel.

Senator Murray along with 19 cosponsors were triumphant and the amendment passed the Senate by a voice vote. The amendment provides the full $1.2 billion needed to keep Amtrak running, verses the $826 million previously provided in the Omnibus Appropriations bill (H. J. Res. 2), which would have been a cut of 27%.

However, we are not out of the dark yet, upon adoption of the compete FY 2003 Appropriation bill (H. J. Res. 2) by the Senate, the bill will go back to the U. S. House of Representatives for a conference. This is where differences in the bill are discussed and worked out between the House and the Senate. The House previously approved only $762 million for Amtrak, so we may have to call upon you once again for help in order to preserve the $1.2 billion. We will be monitoring all actions taken on the bill while it is in conference and keep you informed of any necessary action we need to take.

Thank you for your prompt response to our plea to email and call your Senators in support of Senator Murray’s amendment. When we all come together for a particular cause is when we prevail. Your efforts are appreciated.

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