PASCRELL BLASTS ADMINISTRATION PLAN TO KILL AMTRAK
June 20, 2005
PLEDGES TO FIGHT AGAINST RECKLESS HOUSE BILL THAT WILL END INTERSTATE RAIL SERVICE
WASHINGTON --- U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, a senior member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, joined his delegation colleagues and representatives from railroad labor for a press conference at Penn Station - Newark. They joined to announce their plans to fight for the survival of Amtrak.
Last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, District of Columbia denied Amtrak's request for $1.8 billion. Pascrell has joined many of his colleagues in publicly calling for Amtrak to receive $2 billion to continue operations. Rather that provide the requested level, a House subcommittee has approved only $550 million for Amtrak, which if enacted into law would effectively force Amtrak into bankruptcy.
Rep. Pascrell made the following statement this morning signaling his intent to oppose this egregious proposal:
"I stand in solidarity with my Congressional colleagues and my friends in rail labor in the fight to save Amtrak from the ideologues in the White House and the House leadership.
I believe that it should be our goal to expand transportation alternatives, not cut back on options for the American people.
There can be no more illusions about the Administration's desire to destroy Amtrak once and for all. Amtrak has tremendous impact on our regional economy and relieves congestion throughout the Northeast on the roadways and airways. Their plan for passing the buck of rail operations and maintenance onto New Jersey's already struggling state budget is not a solution based in reality.
Congress must provide the dollars that Amtrak needs to run efficiently and effectively.
Rhetoric is not enough to defeat the Bush proposal. It is too important to the American people and the American economy to settle for anything less."