Management & Operations

Senate denies bolstered federal funding for Amtrak

Posted on March 17, 2005

The Senate rejected a measure to restore more than $1 billion in funding for Amtrak this week, supporting President Bush's plan to bankrupt and then restructure the struggling rail system.

The majority of Democrats and four Republicans called for more federal subsidies, but the 52-46 vote against funding represented a setback for Amtrak supporters.

The Bush administration has said that the federal government must stop subsidizing intercity passenger rail service and force Amtrak to shut down little-used routes.

Bush's 2006 budget proposes no Amtrak operating subsidy but does set aside $360 million to keep passenger trains running through the Northeast corridor.

Amtrak, which received $1.2 billion in federal subsidies in 2004, may still see its funding restored when the House considers passenger rail service.

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