Lawmakers warn of Amtrak's demise if underfunded

Posted on September 14, 2004

Lawmakers on Tuesday warned that Amtrak could go out of business next year if Congress supports the Bush administration's $900 million funding level. Representatives warned of the passenger rail service's demise during the House's debate on an $89.9 billion bill to fund Transportation and Treasury Department programs in the coming budget year, reported the Associated Press. "At this level, there should be no surprise next spring when Amtrak must curtail services," said Rep. John Olver (D-Mass.) Another Massachussets Democrat accused the Bush administration of engaging in "continued conscious and deliberate underfunding of Amtrak." On the opposing side, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) said "'Scamtrak' has been a train wreck for the American taxpayers." A Senate subcommittee approved $1.2 billion for the ailing passenger rail service, while Amtrak officials say $1.8 billion is needed to keep operating.

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