Please read the release from the National Association of Railroad Passengers, our national sister organization. The US House has voted to dramatically cut Amtrak’s funding, which could endanger trains like the Empire Builder – call your US House Rep today to voice your opposition!
House Appropriators Declare War on Trains
House Appropriators released a draft bill today that slashes Amtrak’s budget by a third. NARP responded immediately with a press release denouncing the proposal as unacceptable:
The National Association of Railroad Passengers announced that it will fight implementation of the House Appropriation Committee’s Fiscal Year 2014 transportation funding levels. The draft bill, which the subcommittee will consider tomorrow, slashes Amtrak’s budget by a third, threatening the very existence of Amtrak. The bill also fails to include funding for the High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program. Not only does the bill include no new funding for the highly over-subscribed TIGER grants—a competitive, multi-modal program where rail has competed well—it rescinds $237 million in previously appropriated FY 2013 TIGER funding that is not yet obligated.
The House proposal denies state and local leaders the resources they need to develop the modern transportation network necessary for mobility and economic growth. It comes as economic experts and the International Monetary Fund criticize the U.S. for plunging ahead with austerity even as low interest rates make borrowing for projects unusually affordable, America’s unemployment rate remains unacceptably high, and the need for transportation infrastructure investment is widely acknowledged.
The House committee’s bill has just $950 million for Amtrak, a 29% cut from the final 2013 number [$1,344 million]. This includes a $350 million operating grant (21% below the FY 2013 level), and $600 million in capital (33.5% below FY 2013).