Amtrak’s Board Seeks No Funding for Operations
The Amtrak Board of Directors in its annual report to Congress has asked for no money for the operation of the nation’s passenger trains. Under federal law Amtrak is required to submit an annual report to Congress. Historically Amtrak’s Board of Directors has used this as the time and means to request the operating funds for the next fiscal year. In an unprecedented filing, Amtrak’s Board is not seeking funding for Fiscal Year 2006.
In what can be called nothing short of a “sell-out” of Amtrak, the Bush appointed Board of Directors cites the need for reform of Amtrak and passenger service in the United States. This is simply what has been faced by Amtrak in prior years—an attempt to cut long distance trains. A proposal that has never received Congressional support.
Amtrak’s Board in talking about the importance of the Northeast Corridor trains has stated that Amtrak does not have to be the operator of these trains. Again, the Board is opening the door for the Bush proposal to destroy Amtrak and with it the 20,000 good paying jobs.
Continuing to “parrot” Bush’s anti-Amtrak stance, the Board talks about the need to partner with the states and private industry. Many if not most of the states have their own fiscal problems and finding additional money for passenger train service is not a likely prospect. Private industry will only be interested in the lines on Amtrak that have the potential to make a profit. They will not have any special interest in providing passenger service to the traveling public.
It is very clear that the Amtrak Board is in the back pocket of President Bush. As a group this Board is not the friend of Amtrak or the Amtrak workers.
We need every one in this fight to preserve Amtrak. Write to your Congressman and Senators today. Tell them that you expect them to support America’s passenger service by providing full funding for Amtrak. (Click here to write to your Congressman and Senators)