Amtrak Looking at $800M Budget for 2009

WASHINGTON — President Bush’s proposed $3.1 trillion budget for Fiscal Year 2009 provides $800 million for Amtrak, roughly 40 percent less than the passenger railroad’s $1.3 billion budget this year.

But that’s not enough, says Rep. James L. Oberstar, D-Minn., chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

“In the last budget of his term in office, the President could have used the opportunity to make a bold statement about the state of the Nation and his hope, his vision, for its future,” Oberstar said in a news release. “Instead, the President stayed well inside his ideological comfort zone. We got the same old, stale proposals, the same neglect of our Nation’s infrastructure needs.”

According to Oberstar, the proposed budget also cuts public transportation and rail security funding by more than one-half. The administration’s request of $175 million is a fraction of the $1.2 billion authorized for these programs under the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, Oberstar said.

— News Wire