Sandy relief bill includes millions for Amtrak

Amtrak could receive millions as part of a $60.4 billion Hurricane Sandy supplemental spending bill Congress approved earlier this month.

According to U.S. Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., there was no “detailed plan for how the money will be spent.”

“It is critical that we ensure taxpayer dollars go to help those impacted by this devastating storm and not to wasteful spending projects,” the senators said in a joint statement before the U.S. Senate passed the bill.

“All told, 64 percent of the $60.4 billion in ‘emergency’ spending in this legislation will not be spent for nearly two years,” the senators added. “Americans impacted by Hurricane Sandy deserve better than this.”

According to The Hill, McCain pulled an amendment that would have required Amtrak to submit a plan to Congress for how the $336 million would be spent.

The U.S. Senate approved the bill on Friday. It remains unclear whether the bill will move forward in the U.S. House.

“The families impacted by Hurricane Sandy need relief today to help them begin to rebuild,” U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., said in a statement.“The most effective way to provide aid to the victims of this devastating storm is to fund immediate needs first so we can assess and plan for future requests.

“An emergency funding bill should focus on the emergency needs of the victims, not the needs of politicians,” Coats added. “Loading up a massive $60.4 billion package with unrelated projects and earmarks for other states is not the way we should use taxpayer dollars to fund Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.”

Todd DeFeo
About Todd DeFeo 281 Articles
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and The Travel Trolley.