John Boehner cut off and yelled at a reporter today who asked if Republican budget cuts are to blame for deadly Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia.
Speaker Boehner said, “Are you really going to ask such a stupid question? Listen, you know, they started this yesterday, it’s all about funding, it’s all about funding. Well, obviously it’s not about funding. The train was going twice the speed limit. Adequate funds are there; no money’s been cut from rail safety and the House passed a bill earlier this spring to reauthorize Amtrak, and authorize a lot of these programs. And it’s hard for me to imagine that people take the bait on some of the nonsense that gets spewed around here.”
The NTSB disagrees with Speaker Boehner. CNN reported that the train that derailed did not have the latest safety technology, “A system known as positive train control likely would have stopped the train — which had been hurtling around the curve at more than 100 mph — from derailing, National Transportation Safety Board Member Robert Sumwalt told reporters.”
Amtrak doesn’t have the latest safety technology on all trains because they lack the funds to pay for such an expense. Amtrak lacks the funds because Republicans have been trying for years to kill and privatize Amtrak. Boehner only gave half of the answer while leaving out the part about Republican budget making the nation’s railway system less safe.
As usual with Boehner when the Speaker lacks facts, he flips out on the reporter who asked the question. There was nothing stupid about the question. The reality is that Republican budget cuts literally kill people.
No amount of yelling and theatrics from Speaker Boehner can hide the fact that the Republican refusal to properly fund infrastructure has life and death consequences for the nation’s travelers.