June 19, 2015
United States Senators Cory Booker and Roger Wicker introduced legislation on Thursday to renew funding for Amtrak, NJ.com reports.
In the wake of last month's fatal derailment, the Senate bill would provide for an additional $570 million annually in competitive grants for safety, track improvements, rail service and the Northeast Corridor.
The legislation would authorize spending of $6.6 billion a year for Amtrak, though the money would have to be approved in the separate transportation spending bill. The House authorized $5.8 billion over four years in March. Including separate grants, the Senate bill contains $8.9 billion and the House $7.2 billion for Amtrak.
"To help the United States compete globally, we must invest in a safe and reliable passenger rail system that Americans can depend on," Booker, the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce subcommittee that oversees Amtrak, told NJ.com. "But too often our rail system falls short due to a lack of adequate infrastructure investment."
The bill also provides grants and loans to install automatic speed control, which the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said would have prevented the Philadelphia crash had it been in place.
Read more from NJ.com.