Congressmen Support Full Amtrak Funding

Congressmen Support Full Amtrak Funding

Congressman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) reacted to Appropriations sub-committee bill that would provide only $550 million dollars for Amtrak by calling it “extremely disappointing.” Together with 170 other members of the House Congressman Menendez sent a letter to the Appropriations sub-committee Chairman and Ranking Member seeking $2 billion for Amtrak in Fiscal Year 2006.

Following is Congressman Menendez’ statement on the sub-committee’s action.

Menendez Slams House Subcommittee Decision to Gut Amtrak
Funding Cuts Would Cripple Rail Service in New Jersey, Nation

"It is extremely disappointing that this subcommittee has decided to bow to the Bush administration’s demand to gut Amtrak. This paltry level of funding will cripple the Northeast Corridor and severely impact the tens of thousands of New Jersey commuters who depend on rail service every day. Facing a $5 billion backlog for maintenance needed on the Northeast Corridor, the committee offered only $50 million. This is unacceptable, and will lead to more delays, more breakdowns, and more potentially tragic incidents like the recent fire on the Portal Bridge, which desperately needs to be replaced.

"The Administration is intentionally creating a death-spiral for Amtrak. They cut funding by complaining about how poor the service is, and those funding cuts make service even worse and their arguments for cuts even louder. This bill is just the next step on the path to the complete extinction of intercity rail passenger service on this country. I hope the full Appropriations Committee will recognize the importance of Amtrak, and I will be leading the fight in the full House to make sure the federal government doesn’t throw in the towel on Amtrak and make the states pick it up."

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