The U.S. House approved $8 billion in funding for Amtrak passenger rail on Wednesday. Keith Lang and Cristina Marcos reported for The Hill,
Since its inception in 1971, Amtrak has historically received about $1 billion per year from the government for operations and construction projects.
The measure would authorize about $982 million per year for the company’s national network and another $470 million annually for its popular Northeast U.S. routes.
The bill, which would expire in 2019, sets another $300 million per year for construction on Amtrak routes in the rest of country and about $24 million per year for the company’s inspector general.
All 184 Democrats present voted yes, including Iowa’s Dave Loebsack (IA-02). But as the 316 to 101 roll call shows, more than 100 House conservatives voted against the Amtrak bill, including Iowa’s Rod Blum (IA-01), David Young (IA-03), and Steve King (IA-04).
Young should know better. Currently, the only Amtrak routes across Iowa travel through the southern part of the state, calling at stations in the third and second Congressional districts. (King used to represent some of those southwest Iowa counties, but he hasn’t since the last redistricting.) Anyway, Young has lived on the east coast long enough to understand how important passenger rail is for the U.S. transportation system.Continue Reading...