House Appropriations Committee Passes $550 Million for Amtrak

House Appropriations Committee Passes $550 Million for Amtrak

The full House Appropriations Committee approved a bill previously passed by the Appropriations Transportation Sub-committee that would provide Amtrak only $550 million for Fiscal Year 2006.

Funding at this level would slash Amtrak’s operating budget by more than half. This would be well below the minimum needed to run the trains. Although Amtrak has taken on no new debt since 2002, an estimated $278 million is needed next year just to service old debt.

Sub-committee Chairman Joseph Knollenberg (R-MI) said that the $550 million for Amtrak would let most short distance routes continue, saying, “The subcommittee’s Amtrak proposal is an honest one and deserves the committee’s support.”

While the fight for Amtrak funding is far from over, the fact of the matter is that we face a bitter uphill battle and will need the help of all TCU members—both active and retired to help in the fight. We urge you to write to your Senators and Congressman and ask them to support $2 billion for Amtrak funding and to support a national rail passenger service.

The fight is now!

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