President Proposes $900 Million for Amtrak
In what could be seen as a turnaround from last year, President Bush proposed $900 million for Amtrak in Fiscal Year 2007. The new Fiscal Year starts on October 1. For Fiscal Year 2006 Bush proposed $0 for Amtrak funding. And it must be remembered that President Bush proposed $900 million in 2004 for Amtrak, an amount that then Amtrak President David Gunn said would lead to Amtrak going bankrupt.
Clearly, even though, the President has proposed $900 million this is only due to the fact that Congress sent him a message last year that it was not discontinuing funding for Amtrak.
In addition, this $900 million is not proposed without strings attached. The Administration’s proposal would require the Secretary of Transportation to certify that Amtrak has met certain criteria before money would be allocated for operation of trains. Again this year we will be faced with a fight over so-called reforms that the Administration wants to impose on Amtrak. And as we saw last year most “reforms” mean less jobs and more hardships on our members.
Once again the Bush Administration has proposed less than adequate funding for Amtrak in its never ending battle to cripple or bankrupt our national rail passenger service. The Bush anointed Amtrak Board of Directors continues to undermine Amtrak as a vital part of an overall American transportation system. So we must and will continue the fight to save Amtrak.
The TCU Legislative Department working together with other departments of our union will press the fight in Congress to not only secure adequate funding for Amtrak’s operations, but also to keep Amtrak running throughout our country. Our goal is to preserve the good jobs that our members enjoy at Amtrak and to see to it that Amtrak continues to provide the transportation service that the American people want and deserve.