House Lands Sneak Attack on Amtrak

In a flurry of after-hours activity, the U.S. House of Representatives tacked on several anti-Amtrak amendments to the House Transportation Appropriations bill yesterday.

As we reported on Monday, Rep. Paul Broun's (R-GA) two attempts to eliminate funding were rebuffed in a bipartisan fashion. Last night, an extreme amendment offered by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) to kill six long distance routes was also shot down.

However, late in the evening, three anti-rail amendments were tacked on just before the bill was passed:

  • Denham (R-CA) amendment prohibiting any funds in the Act from being used during fiscal year 2015 for the California high-speed rail project – adopted by a vote of 227 yeas - 186 nays.
  • Gingrey (R-GA) amendment prohibiting any funds in the Act from being used during fiscal year 2015 to subsidize Amtrak food and beverage service – adopted by voice vote.
  • Sessions (R-TX) amendment prohibiting any funds in the Act from being used during fiscal year 2015 to support the Amtrak route with the highest per-passenger subsidy (the Sunset Limited) – adopted by voice vote.

Rest assured, NARP will fight these amendments tooth-and-nail in the Senate. These tired arguments against a strong passenger rail system don't hold water, and will fail when subjected to the full scrutiny of the American people. 

For those looking to fight back: stay tuned! These amendments were passed at night, but passengers will have their say in the full light of day!