Senate Markup of Transportation Bill Would Add Funding to Amtrak Next Year

The Senate Appropriations Committee advanced a nearly $55.7 billion bill funding the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development for the next fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1.

The Senate version of the bill to fund transportation and housing programs would provide Amtrak with nearly $1.4 billion next year, much more than the amount allocated by the House.

The bill contains $289 million for Amtrak operations and $1.1 billion for capital grants to the rail service. The bill also provides an additional $17 million for reforms of Amtrak’s northeast corridor.

The House has already passed its version of the measure, which only included $1.1 billion for Amtrak. President Obama had asked Congress to approve $2.5 billion for the rail service.

The Transportation Department would receive $17.78 billion in discretionary funding, which is $17 million below the 2015 level and $3.9 billion below President Obama’s request.

The funding is for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants, the Highway Trust Fund for infrastructure projects, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration.

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