'Infrastructure? Who Cares,' Says GOP-Led House as it Slashes Amtrak Budget

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'Infrastructure? Who Cares,' Says GOP-Led House as it Slashes Amtrak Budget

Cuts come month after deadly Philadelphia crash put spotlight on need for increased transportation funding

An Amtrak passenger train in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo: Loco Steve/cc/flickr)

The GOP-led U.S. House of Representatives late Tuesday voted to slash $242 million from the Amtrak budget. 

"Amtrak currently receives $1.3 billion from the government, most of which goes toward capital improvements and debt service," AP reports. "The GOP-drafted measure cuts $242 million from capital accounts but fully funds the $289 million request for operating losses."

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The vote was part of a GOP effort to weaken U.S. President Barack Obama's proposed infrastructure spending proposal, put forth under a joint transportation and housing budget.

A deadly Amtrak crash on the outskirts of Philadelphia last month put a spotlight on the need for increased funding and support for public transportation services.

Despite the significant losses, public transportation advocacy group the National Association of Railroad Passengers notes that it would have been much worse if seven "anti-train" measures weren't voted down.

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