House Expected to take up Amtrak Bill

June 11, 2008 6:32:16 AM PDT
The House is expected to consider a $14.4 billion Amtrak bill on Wednesday. The bill would authorize generous levels of direct funding for the national passenger railroad over the next five years. Some of the money would go to a program of matching grants to help states set up or expand rail service.

Similar legislation has passed the Senate. However, the White House has threatened a veto, saying the bill doesn't hold Amtrak accountable for its spending.

The Bush administration has long contended that Amtrak should become self-sufficient, but Amtrak supporters say passenger railroads around the globe require government subsidies.

Amtrak's previous authorization expired in 2002. Amtrak says that having a new authorization in place will make it easier for the company to make long-term plans.