Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed by a final vote of 316 to 101, House Resolution 749, the Amtrak Reauthorization bill. Six of seven amendments were agreed to by voice vote, and will be harmless to Amtrak. However, the seventh amendment by Rep. McClintock of California would have stripped all funding from Amtrak authorizations and killed intercity passenger rail in America. It was defeated by a vote of 272 to 147.
Thanks to the eleven Ohio Congresspersons who voted to continue passenger rail service in America! (see roll-call vote below)
And thanks to all dues-paying All Aboard Ohio members who responded to All Aboard Ohio’s action alerts to contact your Congresspersons. You helped make a difference in generating bi-partisan support for Amtrak from Ohio’s Congressional Delegation. If you want to receive these action alerts and other news by e-mail and newsletter, please JOIN US today!
Passage of this bill is a big victory for the American passenger rail program. While Amtrak has limited service in Ohio due to no state support for rail service, our state is home to hundreds of companies that employ thousands of good-paying manufacturing jobs to build Amtrak locomotives, rail cars, track systems, signals and day-to-day supplies.
Amtrak is a public-private partnership which uses privately owned infrastructure, unlike buses, cars or planes that all depend on government-owned infrastructure. Amtrak covers 93% of its costs from customer revenues, compared to the Federal Aviation Administration which covers only 80% of its costs and federal highways that cover even less of their costs (51%) from user fees. The rest is made up by taxpayers who artificially reduce the per-trip costs of driving and flying and thereby distort the travel marketplace.
The strong bi-partisan support for Amtrak will help passenger rail supporters in the Senate, and eventually when the two chambers resolve their different bills in conference.
So how did your Congressperson vote on the Amtrak-killing McClintock amendment?
FOUR Ohio congresspersons supported the McClintock amendment to kill Amtrak
Rep. Steve Chabot (R, 1st district)
Rep. Jim Jordan (R, 4th district)
Rep. Bob Latta (R, 5th district)
Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R, 2nd district)
ELEVEN Ohio congresspersons opposed the McClintock amendment
Rep. Joyce Beatty (D, 3rd district)
Rep. Bill Johnson (R, 6th district)
Rep. Bob Gibbs (R, 7th district)
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D, 9th district)
Rep. Mike Turner (R, 10th district)
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D, 11th district)
Rep. Pat Tiberi (R, 12th district)
Rep. Tim Ryan (D, 13th district)
Rep. David Joyce (R, 14th district)
Rep. Steve Stivers (R, 15th district)
Rep. Jim Renacci (R, 16th district)
ONE Ohio congressperson DID NOT VOTE:
Rep. John Boehner (R, 8th district)
Now, on to the U.S. Senate!