Carper: Supplemental Avoids Amtrak Derailment

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Tom Carper applauded the compromise announced today that would provide Amtrak $205 million under the emergency supplemental spending bill. If passed by both houses and signed by the President, the agreement almost guarantees Amtrak will remain running through the end of the fiscal year. Carper warned that the real fight – securing a $1.2 billion appropriation for the next fiscal year and a dedicated source of capital funding – lies ahead. “This compromise avoids derailing Amtrak in the short run, but there are miles left to travel before Amtrak’s survivability is ensured,” said Carper, a former member of Amtrak’s Board of Directors. “This is a time to celebrate, but not a time for rail proponents to stop working,” Carper said. “Given the demands on every budget dollar, securing $1.2 billion this year for Amtrak and securing a dedicated source of capital funding will be steep hills to climb. Many of us are willing to make that climb, but supporters of passenger rail service – including mayors, governors and the millions of Amtrak passengers – are going to have to raise their voices over the coming months for the president and Congress to hear.” Earlier this year, Carper recently joined 51 other Senators in signing a letter to Senate Appropriators asking that $1.2 billion be included in the Fiscal Year 2003 Transportation Appropriations Bill. Over 150 members of the House of Representatives signed a letter to their appropriators requesting the same support.