Koch Republicans Ignore Dead and Injured Americans And Vote To Cut Amtrak’s Budget

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House Republicans on the Appropriations Committee put their blinders on, ignored the deaths of seven Americans and voted to cut funding to Amtrak.

ABC News congressional reporter John R. Parkinson tweeted:

Politico reported that House Republicans went on to vote to cut Amtrak’s budget, “Democrats called this the worst possible time to chop Amtrak’s funding to $1.13 billion from its typical $1.4 billion, as called for in a House spending bill that was moving through the Appropriations Committee on Wednesday morning. The House bill would also cut half the funding for D.C.’s Metro system, which had a rush-hour meltdown just two days ago because of smoke in the tunnel connecting Washington with Northern Virginia, as well as a smoke-inhalation death in January.”

Republicans are hiding behind the sequester to justify their cuts, but this excuse doesn’t hold up because had no problem with manipulating the system to restore sequester mandated defense cuts.

Hundreds of Americans were injured, and seven people are dead. The Republican response to this loss of life is that the country can not afford to spend more money on rail safety.

House Republicans have outdone themselves on tone deafness. The Koch controlled Republican House majority has never been sensitive to the wants and needs of ordinary Americans. Gerrymandering has turned screwing over the bulk of the population into a profitable strategy for House Republicans.

At a time when the nation’s transportation networks are in desperate need of repair, Republicans are ignoring the infrastructure as it crumbles around them. It is true that the cause of the Philadephia Amtrak derailment remains unknown, but each of these accidents are a warning.

The Republican refusal to heed the warning is setting the country up for a major disaster.

39 Replies to “Koch Republicans Ignore Dead and Injured Americans And Vote To Cut Amtrak’s Budget”

  1. It’s as if Boehner has accepted the call from ISIS to stay
    home and do their terrorism over here for them.

  2. What does the GOP congress care?
    they have private drivers and limo$$ provided by the US people.

    They care to follow their Koch-owners instructions as well trained show dogs, then they get their juicy bone.

    The people in the train?
    Well they were just working people…no need to care or worry, there are more coming to fill their places…

  3. I am soooo angry at this time!!!

    I checked on c-span on what this body of legislators are discussing. The house is wasting time to pass a 20 wk ban on abortions. These idiots need to crawl out of the woman,s reproductive systems and fund our infrastructure, renewing transportation needs.

    For the life of me I do not understand were all the sane people went.

  4. They don’t want to fix our rail system, but they want to ship “their” oil by rail to have repeated derailments of those oil cars putting everyone in their path in danger! Can we impeach the whole Repuglican’t majority and the horses(Koch’s) they road in on? I hope every passenger on that train sues every person who voted NO!

  5. Lorrene Real, the sane people were defeated by Koch Ind., ALEC and Citizens United. The elections were a case of highest bidder. Dead Americans are people that Republicans cannot lie to anymore or suck their hard earned money from so they are of no importance.

  6. thank you Mr. Uhl, They need to stop touting their so call Xtian bona fide, and start doing the people’s work that Boehner so frequently repeats. I guess that’s asking too much. We the people are too poor, and to busy making end meet.

  7. Our infrastructure has been negected and crumbling for decades.
    Hey ignorant tea bag/repubs, this is NOT an entitlement, it’s a necessity for safety.

    Bridge Collapse in Minneapolis Kills at Least 7
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/02/us/02bridge.html?_r=0
    Officials: Bridge over I-75 collapsed on man in backhoe
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/01/20/major-i-75-bridge-collapse/22036893/
    Analysis: Nation’s bridges desperately need repair
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/usanow/2014/04/24/nations-bridges-need-work/8091313/

    And the tea bag/repubs also want to gut education and EPA, so we’ll soon get to live in a 3RD WORLD COUNTRY.

  8. Cant wait for the republican trolls say that really isn’t a cut and no one travels by train anymore yada yada yada.

    Nevermind every other advanced industrialized nations, but a state-of-the-art rail transportation system, including high-speed rail. We are Americans. We are exceptional.

    They keep braying like the asses that they are while the countries infrastructure falls apart around their dumbasses

  9. A lot of things travel by train from California.

    Combined, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles is the world’s eighth-busiest port complex by container volume, after Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shenzhen (China), Busan (S. Korea), Ningbo (China) and Guangzhou (China)
    http://www.polb.com/about/facts.asp

    Los Angeles/Long Beach is the #1 largest seaport in the U.S. and San Francisco/Oakland is #7…. http://nreionline.com/public-infrastructure/top-10-busiest-us-ports#slide-9-field_images-531171

  10. Maybe the GOP was trying to get Joe Biden but forgot that he gets off before the train reaches Philadelphia ?

    Or, maybe we should get Warren Buffet to buy Amtrak ?

  11. USA USA USA USA
    Live updates: Amtrak train was speeding at 100-plus mph when it crashed, NTSB says
    http://news.yahoo.com/live-updates–amtrak-train-derailment-near-philadelphia-030241888.html

    Japan:Since 2014, shinkansen trains run regularly at speeds up to 320 km/h (200 mph), placing them alongside the French TGV and German ICE as the fastest trains in the world. Since 1970, development has also been underway for the Chūō Shinkansen, a planned maglev line from Tokyo to Osaka.

    That says all about American exeptionalism
    We cant even keep trains from derailing at half the speed of European and Japanese trains.
    But instead of being number 1 and rebuild our infrastructure this is what 36% and 19% that makes up the knuckleheads AKA rethug party wants

  12. We are losing our edge for sure when you compare the USA to what other countries are building as far as infrastructure.

    What the hell is wrong with republicans. They are willing to go this far to make things seem bad under a democrat President. They suck!

  13. The Acela achieves an average speed of 80 mph (129 km/h) between Washington and New York; highest speed is 150 mph (241 km/h) on two sections of track in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. There are also many miles of track, especially east of New Haven, that have been upgraded to allow maximum speeds in excess of 110 mph (177 km/h). South of New York, Acela Express service is limited to 135 mph (217 km/h), even though several stretches of track there are straight enough to allow 150 mph (241 km/h) speeds.

    http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,2600214

    So the train managed to derail at far UNDER it’s maximum rated speed?

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  14. To the NO WAYers, you don’t like see the TRUTH that California has the largest port in the US and is the 8th largest one in the world?

    Something tells me you’re very ignorant to FACTS.

  15. $478B Infrastructure Bill Blocked by Senate GOP
    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/03/25/478B-Infrastructure-Bill-Blocked-Senate-GOP
    Senate GOP Blocks Obama’s $60 Billion Infrastructure Plan
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/11/03/senate-to-block-competing-infrastructure-plans/
    The Cost To Our Economy From Republican Obstruction And Sabotage
    http://ourfuture.org/20140923/the-cost-to-our-economy-from-republican-obstruction-and-sabotage

    I even found one from Faux Nooze just for the children

  16. Why am I not surprised

    Via Robert Cruickshank:

    This wasn’t a high-speed Acela train, but the crash occurred on the same Amtrak-owned Northeast Corridor tracks that the Acela uses.

    Yonah Freemark has joined others in suggesting that the lack of positive train control on this section of track contributed to the crash:

    The Republican-controlled Congress would have funded the previous Democratic legislative mandate for Positive Train Control, the mechanism which overrides a speeding train:

    A new report highlights a recent Senate vote to delay the PRIIA PTC mandate – and that California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer had both raised concerns in 2012 about the slow implementation of the PTC requirement.
    http://www.ibtimes.com/amtrak-disaster-lawmakers-moved-delay-rail-safety-rule-weeks-philadelphia-derailment-1921221#.VVO6oUqB2yY.twitter

  17. Who needs trains?? We have planes that fly at 500 mph and cost less then the train.

    Seems pretty simple to me.

  18. Notice the number, albeit a few, of ‘no way’ votes? Trolls are out here for sure. Even now, no sense of decency.

  19. you know what infuriates me the most? all these goddamn GOP budget cuts free up billions and billions of taxpayer dollars and the GOP wants to give it to the top 1%. its a reverse robinhood. unbelievable and despicable!

  20. Senate GOP killed $2 billion for Amtrak repairs in 2011.

    In 2011, every Senate Republican voted to filibuster Obama’s American Jobs Act and its $2 billion in repair and renovation money for Amtrak.
    As you may recall, that $447 billion package was designed to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, especially in the lagging construction and public sectors, through large scale investment in infrastructure. In section subtitled “Immediate Transportation Infrastructure Investments,” the American Jobs Act featured this nugget for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, also known as Amtrak:

    Subsection (e) makes available $2 billion to Amtrak for the repair, rehabilitation, and upgrade of Amtrak’s assets and infrastructure, including rolling stock.

  21. Proof that the GOP wants us to return to the era of the horse and buggy. Trains in their brains are only good for carrying product such as oil that can be shipped and sold outside the US. Besides product does not need high speed rails unless the Kochers say it does. Then the GOPPERs will fall all over themselves to get the rails fixed to the Kochers’ specifications.

    Working people – just wake up early enough to get the train to NYC that may or may not derail along the way. No need for rails that can carry a train at high speeds like in Europe.

    BTW, for the dumb-asses on this blog who think people use planes more than trains. Commuter trains between DC & NY cost wise is lower than flying & gets the workers into the city. No flying from the out-skirts of DC to the out-skirts of NYC. For a commuter the cost of getting to & from the APs + cost of flight cost more than going by rail. Train 3 hr+/- $255.00 vs Air Cab to AP $65 each way RT $753.00 + $75.00 cab from AP to city.

  22. Plus travel time by cab to BWI 45 min & to Manhattan from Newark AP is a little over 2 hours. So, it still takes you over 4.30 hours to get to work if you fly. By train a little over 3 and you are right in the heart of NYC for less cost. Thus, commuters take the train.

  23. Owen Kellogg:
    In the coastal regions, commuting to work to the large cities by train is way easier than planes.

    Inland, the trains carry construction materials, imported goods, food, cotton to be processed, & few people.

    In Grand Juction CO. there are something like 163 trains daily to carry coal & beer. In Flagstaff AZ there are 60 cross country trains daily, down from 125/day before the recession. That is two spots in the West.

  24. The GOP hasn’t cut the budget since the 1920’s.

    Also, Robin Hood didn’t steal from the rich and give to the poor. He took money from the tax collector and gave the money back from those who it was stolen from.

  25. @Maranon

    The story and the topic here is Amtrak, not privately run rail.

    Privately run railway makes a profit and provides an alternative to highway and air travel.

    Amtrak does not. Amtrak cost more than air travel and takes as long as traveling by car. On the east coast, Amtrak cost 4 times as much as Greyhound and takes longer to travel.

  26. To begin with, Amtrak was created because the railroads were on the brink of eliminating most passenger service, yet its continuance was deemed essential to the country, a value that most pre-Reagan Republicans then held. Your evaluation of Greyhound service is clearly not based on experience. Inevitably, busses break down; on-board latrines are filthy; schedules are never kept; accommodations are so cramped one risks an embolism. A cattle car would be more healthful.

  27. Please supply a link to anyone advocating returning to the horse and buggy.

    Again, the topic here is Amtrak, not the public transportation of a major city. No one suggests that New York city can work without some type of rail system.

    The Federal government in its one size fits all mentality, it mandates that percentage of highway funds be allocated to public transportation. What works in Boston doesn’t work in Wilmington, DE.

    You cannot compare the price of publicly funded rail versus airlines. The price of an Amtrak ticket is only half of what it actually cost. About 30% of the price of an airline ticket is taxes. Recalculate and compare again.

  28. AndyCA I walk every morning for about 2 miles. On this walk I see trains coming from Canada over 189 cars long. Usually containers, two to each car one on top of the other. Going up one day coming down the next. Then a day of oil tankers, coming down. A day or so latter a train of oil tankers going back up. These trains are all over 100 cars long. One day I saw a train of open cars,(ones you can see through)all full of new a cars going north, also cars of machinery going north.
    So there is plenty of trade between Canada and the US too. The oil tankers trains are at least a twice a week.

  29. @reynardine

    Greyhound makes a profit so obviously people find the service of value. Amtrak on the other hand has lost 45 BILLION DOLLARS since its inception.

    I do/have traveled by bus. It cost $28 from Philadelphia to New York. Amtrak cost $90 to $125. With the Greyhound ticket I am always have a seat, no so with Amtrak. I have had “my” train pass through the station because it was full. Amtrak is a crap shoot. But hey, you like it right?

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