What: All Issues : Environment : Rail Transportation : (H.R. 5850) On an amendment to transportation, housing, and urban affairs legislation that would have cut federal funding for rail transportation by $1.2 billion (2010 house Roll Call 494)
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(H.R. 5850) On an amendment to transportation, housing, and urban affairs legislation that would have cut federal funding for rail transportation by $1.2 billion
house Roll Call 494     Jul 29, 2010
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This was a vote on an amendment offered by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) to transportation, housing, and urban affairs legislation that would have cut federal funding for rail transportation by $1.2 billion.

Flake urged support for the amendment: “The U.S. Department of Transportation calculates that the average Amtrak passenger receives a $210 Federal subsidy for their [train] ticket.…In fact, the federal government says that it could actually save money by buying a plane ticket for every passenger on some of the worst performing routes, like that from Orlando to L.A., for example. This has been going on for a long, long time, and we're always told that Amtrak will be self-sufficient just around the corner, or that something else will happen; and it simply never does.”

Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) urged opposition to the amendment: “I encourage my colleagues to oppose this terrible amendment. Rail in America is experiencing a renaissance that we haven't seen in 50 years….In fact, in 2009 Amtrak welcomed aboard over 27 million passengers, the second largest annual total in Amtrak history. An average of more than 74,000 passengers ride more than 300 Amtrak trains per day. And with gridlocked roadways and ever increasing prices in gas, ridership will only increase.”

The House rejected Flake’s amendment by a vote of 129-293. 123 Republicans and 6 Democrats voted “yea.” 250 Democrats and 43 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected an amendment to transportation, housing, and urban affairs legislation that would have cut federal funding for rail transportation by $1.2 billion.

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