Senate bill would give Amtrak $1.4 billion

June 23, 2015

A Senate bill to fund transportation and housing programs would provide Amtrak with nearly $1.4 billion next year, much more than the amount allocated by the House, according to a summary prepared by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The bill, the text of which has not yet been released, contains $289 million for Amtrak operations and $1.1 billion for capital grants to the rail service.

Appropriators reported the bill out of subcommittee Tuesday.

Nearly two months after the deadly derailment on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, the bill provides an additional $17 million to that route and for reforms to the agency. Several members of the Appropriations panel live along that route.

The House has already passed its version of the measure for fiscal 2016, which included $1.1 billion for Amtrak, down from the roughly $1.4 billion appropriated for 2015.

President Obama had asked Congress to approve $2.5 billion for the rail service.

Just hours after the fatal crash in May, Democratic appropriators in the House were outraged over the cuts to Amtrak and attempted to boost the funding through amendments. GOP leaders, however, warned them that any attempts to breach funding caps would kill the bill.

Overall, the Senate bill provides $55.65 billion in discretionary spending, which is $7 billion below Obama’s budget request.

Read Rebecca Shabad’s full story in The Hill by clicking here.

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