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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

House narrowly passes transportation, housing bill

The Republican-controlled House late Tuesday voted 216-210 to pass a $55.3 billion bill to fund transportation and housing for fiscal-year 2016, including measures that would cut funding for Amtrak, transit and the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program.

H.R. 2577 passed in a close 216-210 vote after the House rejected amendments from Democrats that would have increased funding for Amtrak and the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority, according to several news media reports.

The House also rejected an amendment from U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) that would have reduced Amtrak's budget even further.

As approved, the bill would trim Amtrak's budget by $242 million to $1.13 billion. Congress approved about $1.4 billion for Amtrak for this year.

The bill also includes new funding for video cameras to be installed in Amtrak locomotives to record engineers. The funding is related to last month's deadly Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia, according to the Huffington Post.

The bill faces a veto threat from President Obama.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/10/2015