WASHINGTON, D.C.—Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issued the following statement today in response to the introduction of the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2014 (PRRIA) by Representatives Bill Shuster, Nick Rahall, Jeff Denham, and Corrine Brown:
“The introduction of the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2014 demonstrates that Republicans and Democrats can work together to draft legislation that funds and sustains a key component of our national transportation network. TTD applauds the leadership of Chairman Shuster, Ranking Democrat Rahall, Subcommittee Chairman Denham, and Ranking Democrat Brown on this crucial issue.
“This bill provides a critical reauthorization of Amtrak for the next four years, improves rail infrastructure, and provides greater certainty to Amtrak and its employees as they implement long-term modernization plans. Most importantly, the Shuster-Rahall bill rejects wrongheaded reform proposals to privatize Amtrak, break up the operation, and outsource good middle class jobs. In doing so, the legislation affirms the need for a national Amtrak system as part of America’s interconnected transportation infrastructure.
“We do caution that this bill does not provide Amtrak the level of funding it requires to deliver the service Americans need and deserve. While other nations around the world – mostly notably China – are leading the way on passenger rail expansion and modernization, we must push back against those who believe that austerity budgets can somehow propel our economy forward. We should be using the rewrite of our passenger rail laws to set in a motion a long-term vision for expanded investment in Amtrak.
“We are pleased that lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have joined forces to advance a multi-year Amtrak bill and will add our voices behind their effort to bring long-term stability to Amtrak and its workforce and passengers.”
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