What: All Issues : Environment : Rail Transportation : S Con Res 18. Fiscal 2006 Budget Resolution/Vote to Provide $1.04 Billion for the Continued Operation of Amtrak. (2005 senate Roll Call 51)
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S Con Res 18. Fiscal 2006 Budget Resolution/Vote to Provide $1.04 Billion for the Continued Operation of Amtrak.
senate Roll Call 51     Mar 16, 2005
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

Budget resolutions are non-binding pieces of legislation which are drafted annually by the White House's Office of Management and Budget to set budgetary blueprints for taxing and spending in the upcoming year and beyond. During debate on the 2006 Budget Resolution, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) proposed an amendment which would have restored $1.04 billion in funding cuts to Amtrak, a publicly operated railway system. Senator Clinton (D-NY) explained that "the President's budget and this budget resolution does not provide a penny for the continued operation of Amtrak." Progressives supported Byrd's proposal based on their commitment to the preservation of Amtrak. In their view, Amtrak plays key roles in serving the transportation needs of low-income Americans who are unable to afford automobiles or airline travel. Progressives also noted that Amtrak helps reduce traffic congestion along the Northeast corridor between Boston, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. Conservatives voted against the Amtrak funding because, in the words of Senator Bennett (R-UT), "Americans don't like to travel that way anymore. It makes no sense to kid ourselves that a national railway system similar to the Europeans' makes sense in the United States." On a party line vote of 46-52, the Byrd amendment was rejected and funding for Amtrak remained absent from the 2006 Budget Resolution.

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