Trump Treatening VETO of 2020 Spending over Amtrak?

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Blackwolf, Jun 19, 2019.

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  1. Jun 19, 2019 #1

    Blackwolf

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    Got this email from RPA just now:

    The White House issued a veto threat against the fiscal 2020 funding bill, saying President Trump was "disappointed" at Congress for boosting investment in Amtrak instead of eliminating the National Network, as outlined in the President's budget request.

    The White House also objected to language that prevents the U.S. DOT from clawing back grant funding from the California High-Speed Rail project.

    This threat must not go unchallenged. Our elected officials need to hear from the passengers and communities that count on these trains -- whether your home station is in New York City or Newton, Kasas!

    Congress is scheduled to vote this week. Call your Representative and let them know you support investment in passenger trains!
    I'm looking, but haven't found anything clearly stating that Amtrak alone will hang the whole US Spending Bill. Anyone have any more information on this?
     
  2. Jun 19, 2019 #2

    Amtrakfflyer

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    Insane. More theater. 2020 are you listening? Please get here soon!
     
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  3. Jun 19, 2019 #3

    Acela150

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    What else is new?
     
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  4. Jun 19, 2019 #4

    Bob Dylan

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    Reminds one of the old Carol Burnett Show Skit" "As the Stomach Turns!"
     
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  5. Jun 19, 2019 #5

    Dakota 400

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    How many of his "threats" turn out to be 'hot air"? To veto the entire 2020 Funding Bill because it included a couple of things he did not like would get some pushback even from Senators of his own Party.
     
  6. Jun 19, 2019 #6

    Willbridge

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    I've worked on the politics of this since I came home from the Army in Europe in 1971 and there have always been some of my fellow Republicans who support the National System concept, but would vote to kill all of Amtrak if that was offered as a choice. I've long since come to the conclusion that the rail industry also doesn't mind being inoculated with a weak National System, but would be horrified to be told that they would have to resume their common carrier responsibilities were Amtrak to be shut down. The people shown in my Montana photos in another thread likely voted for the current president and he's ignoring them. If they put a Democrat in the White House, they'll be offered duct tape to patch up aging rolling stock. All in all, it's been a bizarre story.
     
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  7. Jun 19, 2019 #7

    Ryan

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    That depends on who is in Congress at the time. There was far more than duct tape the last time a Democrat was in office, and with a cooperative Congress without the stated intent of making him a one term President (which they also failed at accomplishing), there would have been even more and above that (politics at the state level also come in to play here, see WI, OH, etc).
     
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  8. Jun 19, 2019 #8

    Devil's Advocate

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    The prior administration set aside over 20 billion in federal funding above and beyond the operating subsidy. How many tens-of-billions does it take before it's large enough for you to admit there's a meaningful difference?

    Yeah, the way some people continue to peddle low effort reasoning and false equivalency narratives is rather bizarre indeed.
     
  9. Jun 19, 2019 #9

    NSC1109

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    Disappointing, unsurprising, and will likely never happen.

    I did send the recommended email to my local reps and Trump and frankly I’m curious to see what the response is from the White House. Granted, it won’t be from him personally, but personally I think they’re blind if they don’t see why the National Network is necessary.
     
  10. Jun 20, 2019 #10

    bratkinson

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    Last year, Trump threatened a veto, but then ultimately signed the budget with much grumbling and tweeting about how unhappy he was with it. Like most bills in Congress, there's enough 'gotta have these' items in any bill (and budget) to get most of the dissenters on board. At the same time, there's enough 'give' in many of the dissenters that figure they'll get their favorite items in the next bill or budget and at the same time be able to tell constituents "I voted against that bill or bloated budget!" to muster extra votes at the polls.

    In short, it's all politics and theatrics. And, at worst case, they'll pass a continuing resolution that keeps last years budget going and going and going...
     
  11. Jun 20, 2019 #11

    Dakota 400

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    A spot on post!
     
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  12. Jun 20, 2019 #12

    OlympianHiawatha

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    I would not be surprised if the RPA is a far left organization; so I wouldn't worry about it. They are just fear mongering over nothing.
     
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  13. Jun 20, 2019 #13

    lordsigma

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    It’s far more than just about Amtrak. Go on the White House site they are opposed to just about everything in the minibus - they won’t veto just over Amtrak it’s small potatoes and I doubt trump himself cares - some of the heritage guys in his administration maybe. This is the democratic version of the bill and they will pick it apart. The final version of the minibus that takes into account the senate and house input I’m sure will still have the Amtrak funding. Remember the large majority in the Senate that opposed the bussing of the SWC. They likely have a bigger opposition to the California high speed funding - they’ll likely accept Amtrak if the California funding goes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
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  14. Jun 20, 2019 #14

    Devil's Advocate

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    Some people said Mexican passenger trains would survive despite debts and threats and now they're gone. Other people said the same thing about Amtrak routes that are now abandoned and mostly forgotten. History shows us that we can and do lose service we had before.

    You're talking about a post that essentially boils down to "there's nothing to fear because elections do not have consequences." Is that what you truly believe?

    Which part do you find suspect, the claim that Trump has requested zero funding for Amtrak or the claim that he has threatened to veto a budget that fully funds Amtrak? What harm do you believe is caused by asking people to contact their representatives to express support for the things they want to be funded in the future?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
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  15. Jun 20, 2019 #15

    LookingGlassTie

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    That's why I want to see Amtrak become more efficient financially while providing the same (if not better) level of service that it currently does. That way, IMO, it would be less likely seen as "wasteful spending" and less of a target for cutting funding.
     
  16. Jun 20, 2019 #16

    LookingGlassTie

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    Perhaps, but we'll just have to see what happens...........
     
  17. Jun 20, 2019 #17

    lordsigma

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    Just to further point out: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/SAP_HR-3055.pdf

    I am all for the LD trains, but to say that Trump is threatening to veto over Amtrak as the RPA notifications hint is going a bit far...the administration opposes just about everything in that bill if you read above as well as all the other appropriations bills and they pick out tons of different objections with Amtrak being one of many.... the senate and house will have to reconcile a budget.....and I fully expect the Amtrak funding to be in the reconciled budget.Trump won't shut the government down over Amtrak...it just isn't enough money to shut the government down over..I'd see him doing it over the California high speed project first long before Amtrak due to his political differences from the California delegation.Amtrak is mentioned because, simply, there are many Heritage Foundation folks on the staff who have long hated it.
     
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  18. Jun 20, 2019 #18

    MARC Rider

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    I really don't think that the president's electoral base really cares one way or another about funding for Amtrak's national network. And if the president caved on the Wall last year after actually shutting down most of the government, and the Wall is something that his base cares about, I find it hard to believe that this president is going to make funding for Amtrak's national network a reason for a government shutdown.
     
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  19. Jun 20, 2019 #19

    Dakota 400

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    I'm not sure how you could interpret my post quoting another post in this way. Certainly, I do believe that elections have consequences. Most recent Federal budgets have been funded by continuing resolutions. Given the hyper-partisanship that exists in Washington, I would expect 2020's funding will be done the same way.
     
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  20. Jun 20, 2019 #20

    railbuck

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    It's not just the amount of the subsidy but the fact that, as we've seen in past shutdowns, Amtrak can keep running for weeks or months even when other essential services are interrupted. The patience of both congress and the general public would run out long before Amtrak's cash on hand.
     
  21. Jun 21, 2019 #21

    Amtrakfflyer

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    Anderson has stated Amtrak has a billion in the bank. We discussed the pros and cons of that a few months ago. I’m all for having cash reserves but that seems excessive when you have your hand out every year for a subsidy.

    Makes you realize how minuscule the contemporary dining, removal of the Parlour cars, station agents, WiFi, etc really is. Restore all that and you still have 900 plus million in the bank. They were all loss leaders to put it in grocery store terms, helped get people in the door.
     
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  22. Jun 21, 2019 #22

    Ryan

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    We also went over how unrelated those two things are. You must have forgotten already.
     
  23. Jun 21, 2019 #23

    Amtrakfflyer

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    That was in direct response to previous reply sorry I didn’t quote it. The point is Amtrak has money in the bank and doesn’t shut down like some other government agencies do during a “government shutdown”.
    Your opinion may be all these cuts to “save money” have nothing to do with Amtrak’s cash reserves. I respect that but don’t agree, they are correlated to a degree.
     
  24. Jun 21, 2019 #24

    Ryan

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    It's not a matter of opinion, it's a matter of facts. That's not how cashflow works.

    Yes, Amtrak has sufficient funding in the bank to last a short period of time before it has to shut down.

    The fact that they would have to shut down when those funds are depleted in a matter of months should make it blindingly obvious that the subsidy money is needed.

    The minuscule amount of money saved by the cuts doesn't appreciably change when they would run out of money and have to shut down. That's simply math, not an opinion you can agree or disagree with at will.
     
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  25. Jun 21, 2019 #25

    Amtrakfflyer

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    You made my point. The cuts are so minuscule they don’t appreciable change anything!

    I don’t care if Amtrak has money in the bank, in fact I said I’m all for cash reserves. The political optics is what I am and was leery of. Anderson staying “we have a billion in the bank” might not go over well with a fiscal conservative in congress.

    The main point I was trying to make in this thread is the amenity cuts aren’t going to make a dent in Amtrak’s finances one way or the other.
     

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