PRESIDENT DEVITA’s STATEMENT CONCERNING REPUBLICAN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PROPOSED DEVASTATING CUTS TO AMTRAK FUNDING
In a controversial move that threatens the future of American passenger rail, the House of Representatives has proposed significant cuts to Amtrak funding. The draft legislation, published this week by the Transportation Housing and Urban Development subcommittee in the House of Representatives, has raised alarm among rail advocates and industry experts by cutting nearly two-thirds of the money Amtrak received this year from next year’s funding level.
If passed, the bill would have severe consequences for Amtrak and its ability to provide reliable, efficient, and accessible rail services to millions of Americans. The proposed cuts come at a time when the nation’s transportation infrastructure is in dire need of investment and modernization.
One of the most concerning provisions in the bill is the reduction of federal funding for Amtrak in the upcoming Fiscal Year – 64% lower than the funding level from this year. Despite the pressing need for enhanced rail services and the potential for rail to alleviate congestion, reduce emissions, and stimulate economic growth, the proposed cuts would undermine Amtrak’s operations and hamper its ability to serve communities across the country effectively.
The proposed legislation also neglects the critical importance of passenger rail in addressing the ongoing climate crisis. With rising concerns about carbon emissions and the environmental impact of transportation, cutting funding for Amtrak sends the wrong message and fails to prioritize sustainable modes of travel.
Furthermore, the bill fails to acknowledge the essential role that Amtrak plays in connecting rural and under-served communities. Many Americans rely on Amtrak for affordable, convenient, and accessible transportation options. Slashing funding for Amtrak would disproportionately affect these communities, hindering their mobility and limiting their access to vital services and opportunities.
The National Conference of Firemen & Oilers, a leading advocate for passenger rail, strongly urges the House of Representatives to reconsider these proposed cuts. Now, more than ever, is the time to invest in a robust and efficient rail network that supports economic growth, reduces congestion, and addresses the urgent need to combat climate change.
We call on all Members of the House of Representatives to reject this damaging proposal and instead prioritize the future of American passenger rail. By investing in Amtrak, we can build a sustainable, accessible, and interconnected transportation system that serves the needs of all Americans.
President Dean Devita
The NCFO is an affiliate of 32BJ SEIU, the Service Employees International Union, which has 2.1 million members dedicated to raising industry standards, making life better for working families and our communities, and building a fair economy.