Sending Office: Morelle, Joseph D.
**This is a Programmatic Request**
Deadline: COB Today
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Current Signers: Donald M. Payne, Jr., Raja Krishnamoorthi, Madeleine Dean, Anna G. Eshoo, Jimmy Panetta, Josh Gottheimer, Thomas R. Suozzi, Val Demings, Ro Khanna, Jeff Van Drew, James P. McGovern, Jamie Raskin, Tom Malinowski, Mark DeSaulnier, Earl
Blumenauer, Donald S. Beyer Jr., Seth Moulton, Brendan F. Boyle, Dave Loebsack, Jennifer Wexton, Deb Haaland, Abigail D. Spanberger, Joseph D. Morelle, Anthony G. Brown, Pramila Jayapal, Raúl M. Grijalva , Ilhan Omar, Lisa Blunt Rochester , Grace F. Napolitano,
Sheila Jackson Lee, Jim Costa, Steve Cohen, Frank Pallone, Jr., Stephen F. Lynch , Diana DeGette, Rick Larsen, Jerrold Nadler, Andre Carson, Danny K. Davis, Chellie Pingree, Peter Welch, Collin C. Peterson, David N. Cicilline, Gwen Moore, Julia Brownley, Adam
Smith, Jerry McNerney, Albio Sires, Nydia M. Velázquez, Carolyn B. Maloney, Richard E. Neal, Doris Matsui, Joe Courtney, Scott H. Peters, Marcia L. Fudge, Marc Veasey, Alcee L. Hastings, Bill Foster, Jan Schakowsky, John Garamendi, Paul Tonko, John P. Sarbanes,
Bill Pascrell, Jr., Rosa L. DeLauro, Robin L. Kelly, Judy Chu, Eliot L. Engel, Kathleen M. Rice, Frederica S. Wilson, Brian Higgins, Dina Titus, Barbara Lee, A. Donald McEachin, Zoe Lofgren, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Donald Norcross, Antonio Delgado, Cheri Bustos,
Sean Casten, Salud Carbajal, William R. Keating, John B. Larson, Dwight Evans, Cedric L. Richmond, Jim Himes, Elijah E. Cummings
With the passage of the 2015 bipartisan Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, Congress made a commitment to the American people to improve our nation’s roads, bridges, public transit, and rail systems. The reliability and safety of America’s transportation
infrastructure remains in question, and it is time we uphold our promise and provide serious funding to fix the deteriorating rail infrastructure that is vital to our success in the 21st century economy. This year’s budget decisions are difficult,
but full funding in our passenger rail systems will not only restore faith in our rail transportation system, but employ millions of Americans and keep our nation economically competitive in the global economy.
Please join us in asking the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee to provide full funding for the following passenger rail programs:
Amtrak Northeast Corridor: $600 million
Amtrak National Network: $1.2 billion
Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program: $330 million
Restoration and Enhancement Grant Program:
Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair: $300 million
JOSEPH D. MORELLE
Member of Congress
Member of Congress
Dear Chairman Price and Ranking Member Diaz-Balart,
As you begin work on the Subcommittee’s Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bill, we request that you support full funding for Amtrak and passenger rail programs authorized under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.
The bipartisan FAST Act of 2015 represents Congress’s commitment to improving crumbling bridges, roads, rail systems, and public transit across America. Passengers and businesses from coast to coast need safe, reliable, and modern rail infrastructure. We
urge you to uphold the promise of the FAST Act by providing desperately needed funding to fix outdated rail infrastructure and invest in our 21st century economy. Specifically, we ask you to support the following accounts:
Amtrak: The FAST Act authorized $1.8 billion for Amtrak in FY20, with subdivided levels for the Amtrak Northeast Corridor (NEC) and Amtrak National Network. To adjust for unforeseen changes in the division of costs between NEC and Amtrak
National Network in 2015, Amtrak has requested a redistribution of funds. This request has our support and falls within the parameters of the authorized $1.7 billion, as follows:
Amtrak Northeast Corridor: The region served by the NEC—between Boston and Washington, D.C.—is home to more than 51 million Americans. Each day, more than 820,000 passengers ride
approximately 2,200 trains through the NEC each day. Unfortunately, much of the NEC operates on infrastructure dating back to the early 1900’s, making it prone to unexpected failures that disrupt service and create delays for riders.
Serious investment is needed to begin addressing the necessary upgrades to improve rail safety and efficiency.
For these reasons, we recommend appropriators fund Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor at $600 million as requested by Amtrak for FY20.
Amtrak National Network: Amtrak’s National Network service includes fifteen long-distance trains throughout the country, connecting hundreds of rural communities with our urban centers and providing alternative travel
options for those who are unable to fly or drive. To ensure the National Network is safe, reliable, and on time,
we urge you to provide $1.2 billion for
Amtrak’s National Network, as authorized under FAST Act and requested by Amtrak for FY20.
Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program:
The CRISI program is designed to provide financial support for project development and infrastructure upgrades —including Positive Train Control implementation, station improvements, and rail grade crossing projects—to ensure efficient and safe rail
service. The CRISI program provides much needed flexibility of funds to meet the increasing widespread demand for rail investments.
With this in mind, we recommend at least $330 million to maintain this essential program, as authorized under FAST Act.
Restoration and Enhancement Grant Program: This program represents a prudent investment by providing operating assistance to establish, rehabilitate, or expand intercity passenger rail transportation, a critical service for our nation’s
isolated communities. In recent years, the program was severely underfunded, and
we therefore urge appropriators to provide full funding for this program, as authorized under FAST Act, at $20 million in FY20.
Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair: The FAST Act also authorized the Federal-State Partnership for a State of Good Repair program to reduce the state of good repair backlog for publicly owned or Amtrak-owned infrastructure,
equipment, and facilities. In addition to bringing existing infrastructure into a state of good repair, projects that replace existing assets with those that increase capacity and service levels as also eligible for this funding.
Given the significant number of upgrades needed along our railways, we recommend at least $300 million for this grant program.
Passenger rail holds a storied place in American history. It has created jobs, fostered community development, and promoted economic growth for decades. Today, American railways are lagging behind. We acknowledge that this year’s spending decisions are difficult,
but we have a responsibility to bring our infrastructure into the future to compete in the global economy, serve passengers across the nation, and invest in good-paying jobs for thousands of workers.
We urge you to strongly support these rail programs as recommended in the FY20 T-HUD Appropriations bill. Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0