Debt Limit Clears Congress, Transportation Budget Up Next
June 2, 2023
After months of negotiation, Congress was able to pass a bipartisan compromise to raise the debt ceiling and implement budget caps this week, averting a disastrous government default and shutdown.
However, the budget freeze included in the compromise raises questions about how Amtrak and passenger trains will fare in the ongoing Fiscal Year 2024 budget process. Facing hard caps, Congressional appropriators are going to have to make some difficult choices. And while there are guaranteed rail funds included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), we need to ensure that Congress funds day to day operations to keep the trains running and facilitate project management.
The House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure is holding a hearing on Amtrak on Tuesday, June 6th, and we’re asking America's passengers to speak up in support of projects that will upgrade the passenger rail network, including:
- New Amtrak equipment for routes across the U.S.—an investment which has already led to new manufacturing jobs for American workers;
- Upgrades to stations across the National Network and NEC [see the Federal Railroad Administration’s NEC Project Inventory List for more details on projects that are ready-to-build]; and
- New and upgraded passenger rail corridors from coast to coast.
Join the Rail Passengers Association in asking Congress to fully fund rail programs at the authorized levels established by the BIL!
"When [NARP] comes to Washington, you help embolden us in our efforts to continue the progress for passenger rail. And not just on the Northeast Corridor. All over America! High-speed rail, passenger rail is coming to America, thanks to a lot of your efforts! We’re partners in this. ... You are the ones that are going to make this happen. Do not be dissuaded by the naysayers. There are thousands of people all over America who are for passenger rail and you represent the best of what America is about!"
Secretary Ray LaHood, U.S. Department of Transportation
2012 NARP Spring Council Meeting