News Releases

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – In response to the Department of Transportation's announcement that it has once again failed to approve a loan guarantee for Amtrak, Sen. Patty Murray, Chair of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement:



"Once again, the Administration has put thousands of Amtrak riders, commuters and employees through unnecessary anguish by failing to finalize a plan to guarantee rail service through the rest of the year.

As I have been saying for days, Congress stands ready, willing and able to help Amtrak. After repeatedly rejecting offers from me, and other Senate leaders, the Administration appears to have reversed itself and will now seek additional appropriations for Amtrak.

This is far preferable to saddling Amtrak with additional loans, at a time when passenger rail service is already $4 billion in debt. Proposing short term loan guarantees simply kicks the can down the road and fails to face reality.

I am hopeful that this policy reversal signals that the Administration may be willing to acknowledge the true cost of rail service, and will now further adjust its Amtrak request for next year. A policy of deliberately under funding Amtrak and creating uncertainty for passengers, employees and financial markets is unacceptable.

The Administration must raise its request from $521 million to the $1.2 billion that Amtrak has testified it needs to operate the national rail system. Otherwise, beginning October 1st, the railroad will again be facing bankruptcy.