© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Clinton Pushes Amendment to Restore Amtrak Funding

By Mark Scott

Washington, DC – US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is co-sponsoring an amendment that would provide $1.4 billion in funding for Amtrak in the fiscal 2006 budget.

President Bush's proposed budget eliminates all federal funding for the passenger rail system. Senator Clinton says there's no country in the world that is able to maintain a passenger rail services without government assistance. She says the Bush administration is being shortsighted.

"They would like to shift the burden to our cash-strapped states, like our own, and make the states pay for infrastructure improvements that are clearly a federal responsibility," Clinton said.

Clinton says New Yorkers rely on rail more than any other state in the nation. She says much of the upstate economy, including Buffalo's, depends on access to Amtrak.

Clinton says an Amtrak shutdown would throw the nation's highways and airports into chaos.

"Amtrak accounts for 50 percent of the passenger traffic between Washington and New York City and 35 percent between Boston and New York," Clinton said. "If you put all of those passengers out on the highways and into already overcrowded airports, we're going to be seriously stretching those systems as well."

Clinton had words of praise for Amtrak President David Gunn for cutting costs and improving service. But the Bush Administration says Amtrak's business model is broken.

Clinton says she hopes there is enough Republican votes in the Senate to send a strong signal to the White House that it should drop its plan to eliminate all funding for Amtrak.