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Mica: Stop Amtrak chefs from dishing up 'lavish' meals


He may no longer be chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, but Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) is showing no signs of backing down from his critiques of Amtrak spending.

Mica's latest beef? Amtrak's gourmet chefs.

"Despite Amtrak food service losses over the past 11 years now topping $906 million, master gourmet chefs continue to dish up recipes for costly gourmet train cuisine," Mica said in a press release issued yesterday.

Amtrak lost $72 million on food service in 2012, according to Mica. As a result, he intends to ask the House Subcommittee on Government Operations as well as Rail Subcommittee Chairman Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) to investigate, he said.

"With a total $1.4 billion Amtrak taxpayer subsidy for just the last year, extravagant chef-designed dishes need to be considered for the chopping block," Mica added.

While chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Mica held multiple hearings on Amtrak spending. In the last Congress, Amtrak's food service expenses were a frequent target of his criticism.

Mica's latest comments followed media reports issued last week that Amtrak hired some of the nation's top gourmet chefs to advise the railroad on its food service. The Washington Post reported June 11 that Amtrak hired the chefs in exchange for frequent traveler miles.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/19/2013