WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 5, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Last night, Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL) offered two amendments to the FY16 Transportation, Housing & Urban Development Appropriations Act, which sought to eliminate federal government subsidies of Amtrak, thus forcing Amtrak to operate in the black. The Congressional Research Service reports that, from 1971 to 2015, federal Amtrak subsidies totaled $78 billion (in constant 2015 dollars). In Fiscal Year 2014, Amtrak had a net loss of $1.1 billion. The House voted on Brooks’ amendments this afternoon and they were not adopted.
During House floor remarks, Brooks emphasized, “If you want safety with rail service, probably the best thing to do is to put it in the private sector and eliminate Amtrak altogether. Look at airlines and air carriers, they are private sector and much safer than Amtrak. Look at buses, private sector and better than Amtrak.”
Further, Brooks stated, “The argument that this would end rail service is absolutely false and is not supported by history.” He continued, “The evidence is clear: freight rail—the same argument was made and subsidies were ended. It went into the private sector and it survives and thrives today.”
Brooks concluded, “It’s time for Amtrak passengers to pay their own way. It is time for Amtrak passengers to quit riding on the backs of other taxpayers.”