Carper: House Mark-Up Would Derail Amtrak if its Funding Levels Became Law

WASHINGTON, DC – Amtrak will not survive next year intact if funded at the $762 million level recommended today by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Senator Tom Carper warned. The House funding level would require Amtrak to cut services and routes or shut down the entire system. A clear majority of the Senate has already voted to appropriate $1.2 billion to Amtrak for the next fiscal year, Carper said. “Our policy for the last three decades has been to give Amtrak just enough money not to fail. The House appropriation does not even meet that standard. At a time when we should be building a stronger passenger rail service, the House subcommittee offers only a starvation diet,” said Carper, a former member of Amtrak’s Board of Directors. “To keep the nation’s commitment to national passenger rail and stop the company’s need to plan its decisions on a crisis-by-crisis basis, Amtrak must be funded at the $1.2 billion level this year.” A Washington Post poll conducted in August revealed that 71 percent of the Americans, from across the country and of various ages and political persuasions, favor continuing federal subsidies to Amtrak or increasing federal funding for Amtrak service expansions.