November 13, 2003, Update on the House-Senate Conference
Committee on Fiscal 2004 Transportation Bill
TRAC Members & Associates--
This message arrived today from NARP. It is good news, not great news.
The lack of recognition of the need for capital investment in our nation's
rail system continues. However, it appears the national system will
continue to creak along for another year.
I would like to thank all of you who contacted your congressman via phone,
fax, email and letter. I would also like to thank those of you who
helped TRAC with our mailing expenses by contributing during our two letter-writing
campaigns to help save Amtrak during 2003. Everyone of you helped to
make a difference.
Take a rest for now. We will gear up again soon to work for better
rail service with the new California state administration, for a sensible
high-speed rail plan for California, and (hopefully not but inevitably) for
adequate funding for Amtrak's 2005 budget.
To NARP Members, November 13, 2003-
Very early this morning, the House-Senate Conference Committee on the Fiscal
2004 Transportation Bill was completed. Amtrak will be funded at a level
of $1.225 billion. That∂s above the Bush/House shutdown figure of $900 million‹but
below the Senate figure of $1.346 billion and Amtrak∂s request of $1.8 billion.
It appears that repayment of the 2002 $100 million DOT loan will be deferred
In an Amtrak release today, President David Gunn said, ∏This number will
allow us to continue to operate the national system. However, we will have
to assess the impact of this funding level on our current budget over the
next month or so.∑
The bill now returns to both chambers for approval and then to the President∂s
desk for signature. Passage should occur very quickly.
Thank you to all NARP members who contacted their elected representatives
in this effort! We will update you with more specific details about the bill
when they become available to us.
Alan C. Miller
Train Riders Association of California