Amtrak Funding Fight

Amtrak Funding Fight (Image 1)

The Amtrak derailment is bringing attention to an aging infrastructure for the train system.

Some members of Congress want to increase the funding for Amtrak, and others want to cut the budget.                                             

It appears Amtrak will deal with deep budget cuts in the wake of the investigation for the train derailment.

Hours after a deadly train derailment in Philadelphia members of Congress voted to cut Amtrak’s budget.

If the house panel vote holds when the final budget passes it would mean Amtrak gets one billion dollars.

Less than half of what President Obama earmarked for the rail system. “There are extensive infrastructure upgrades that could be made that would benefit the traveling public,” said Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary.

The National Safety Council President says one upgrade uses satellite and new technology to remotely stop any Amtrak train, but needs money to be installed. Parts of the system have it, but not the section with the derailment. “This is exactly the type of incident that PTC is designed to prevent. So we have seen this before and we will continue to see it again until PTC is installed,” said National Safety Council President Debbie Hersman.

Amtrak’s funding debate falls down party lines. “We failed to invest in their safety we failed to make their safety a priority,” said Steve Israel, (D) New York.  

“More money that is the solution is not always the case,” said Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R) Florida.  

Republicans say you cannot tie the derailment to the budget.

The chairman of the Transportation Committee will visit the Amtrak crash site this morning.

– Edward Lawrence NBC News.

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