Congress Relieves Amtrak From Its Deadline to Liquidate

WASHINGTON, DC — Senators Joe Biden and Tom Carper today announced that Amtrak, the nation’s only inclusive rail system, no longer has to develop liquidation plans. Language in the FY 2002 defense spending bill passed in Congress today eliminates the railroad’s requirement to prepare a liquidation plan, and appropriates $100 million for safety and security measures. A ruling last month by the Amtrak Reform Council, required Amtrak to come up with a plan for its own liquidation since it would fail to meet a federally mandated deadline to become operationally self-sufficient by December 2002. The bill passed today relieves Amtrak of that requirement. Following passage of the defense bill, Senators Biden and Carper issued the following statements: Senator Joe Biden, Jr: “The measure we passed today sends a clear message that there are no plans to liquidate Amtrak. Congress sent a strong message saying Amtrak will not have to plan for its own liquidation — a requirement that wastes Amtrak’s time and wastes the limited resources Amtrak has to meet the goal of self-sufficiency. “We can not afford to ignore the lessons September 11 taught us about the interdependence of our transportation system, and the vulnerability of that whole system when even one part is seriously disrupted — a lesson that the Amtrak Reform Council either failed to learn or simply chose to ignore. We in the United States Senate will not allow Amtrak to be railroaded into extinction.” Senator Tom Carper: “Congress sent a strong message that the Amtrak Reform Council was on the wrong track,” Carper said. “Amtrak has the support of Congress. It can and will honor its creditors and lenders. And it will continue to provide service across our nation. Our message is clear – Amtrak will not be liquidated.”