Congresswoman Schakowsky To Amtrak, Trump: Invest In Our Rail Infrastructure and Employees

April 24, 2019
Press Release

Chicago, IL –Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Senior Chief Deputy Whip, today joined Representatives Dan Lipinksi and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, as well as Amtrak employees and labor leaders, at Union Station today in Chicago to call on Amtrak leadership and the Trump Administration to prioritize our nation’s rail infrastructure.

“Rail service has a long history of spurring innovation and growth in our great nation. And once again, it has a potential to spur commerce and expansion. Instead of seizing on that opportunity, Amtrak executives and the Trump Administration are seeking drastic cuts that eliminate jobs and set the stage for even more reduction in rail service. And the rail service that does remain will see a drastic loss in quality, with the elimination of food service and even replacing some segments with bus service. President Trump promised to invest $1 trillion in our nation’s infrastructure, and yet every budget he has proposed has actually cut Federal infrastructure spending. We need robust, long-term investment in our rail systems,  both for the Chicago area and our nation,” said Congresswoman Schakowsky.

The Trump Administration’s 2020 budget proposes a 52% reduction in federal grants for Amtrak. It aims to “restructure” the Long-Distance network (15 routes, each over 750 miles) transitioning the decision-making and funding responsibilities from the federal government to the states. Under this plan, buses would replace segments of the current Long-Distance routes. In June 2018, Amtrak eliminated dining car service on the Lakeshore Limited and Capitol Limited. 7 food service employees were furloughed with a nine-day notice.