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House votes to freeze Amtrak's FY2007 appropriation at FY2006 level

Last week, the House approved funding the federal transit program at fiscal-year 2007 levels, but Amtrak’s appropriation received a different fate. House members voted to freeze spending for the national intercity passenger railroad at FY2006’s $1.3 billion — well below the railroad’s $1.6 billion basic request and $1.9 billion full request, according to the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP).

“While we understand that the path of least resistance in quickly disposing of fiscal 2007 issues is to ignore the Amtrak board’s request and comply with the ‘guarantees’ in SAFETEA-LU, that does not make this good policy,” said NARP Executive Director Ross Capon in a prepared statement.

Amtrak’s full request includes $100 million for a U.S. Department of Transportation-administered state corridor development program; $100 million for debt reduction; $50 million to help freight railroads address chokepoints that cause passenger-train delays; and $25 million for Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.

The Senate still needs to vote on the resolution.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/5/2007