Help NARP Make a Request of Congress.
The machinations in Congress are a mystery to most people, me included. But here’s a short version of what’s happening in an area of interest and concern to all of us: funding for Amtrak.
It’s an election year, in case you hadn’t noticed, which means that a great deal that needs to get done before Congress adjourns will not get done. Their way around that is to pass a “Continuing Resolution” which authorizes just enough money to pay for necessary programs until Congress assembles again after the election.
It is possible, however, for specific items to be singled out and funded for the entire year, with the approval of Congress, of course. This time around, the Obama Administration is requesting full funding for Amtrak for Fiscal Year 2017. Their argument—and it’s a good one—is that everyone agrees Amtrak is eventually going to get the money, so why cause them unnecessary confusion, delays and expense that Amtrak can ill afford.
The amount involved is $1.39 billion. That sound like a lot to us ordinary folks, but it is, in fact, a tiny fraction of one percent of the federal budget.
It would be an immense help if some or all of you good folks would send an email to your two senators and one representative. Just Google their names and go each of their web sites where you will find an easy-to-use email form. No need to go into much detail, but the verbiage below will make sense to the staff person who receives it and will be combined with other relevant communication and presented to the rep.
With respect to funding for Amtrak, I support the White House’s “Amtrak Anomaly,” and would like to see the following grant programs included:
• Consolidated Rail Infrastructure & Safety Grants – $50 million
• Federal State Partnership For State Of Good Repair – $25 million
• Restoration & Enhancement Grants – $15 million
Then, by all means, thank your senator or rep. And my thanks to you for adding your voices to these requests. Let’s hope they work!