Mar 4, 2015

On the Path to Ending Government’s Amtrak Monopoly

Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on House passage of H.R. 749, Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015:

“Railroads are essentially American. They are an important part of how we transport food, energy, and people, and nothing symbolized the fulfillment of an America ‘from sea to shining sea’ more than the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869. So it’s disheartening that our current passenger rail system is failing. Right now, Amtrak exists as a government monopoly, and despite all the taxpayer subsidies, its services are still subpar and it loses money every year.

“I want to preserve our nation’s railroads. But we must be frank in admitting that to do that, Amtrak can’t remain a government monopoly. Chairman Shuster’s bill breathes new life into Amtrak by making reforms both sides can agree on. The bill starts putting parts of Amtrak back in the hands of free enterprise and the states. It also increases transparency in Amtrak’s bookkeeping and requires a better review process so the people know exactly how Amtrak is affecting them.

“Most importantly, this bill sets the table for all of Amtrak’s routes to be self-sufficient so that government can eventually get out of the rail business and leave it to the private sector, as it should be.”