“We want Amtrak to work. We want Amtrak to be profitable,” Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) told attendees at GBTA Legislative Symposium 2015. During the event, Denham discussed his commitment to Amtrak and the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act, which recently passed the House of Representatives.
Denham also detailed a few of his priorities, including ensuring that profits made by Amtrak along the Northeast Corridor should remain along the Northeast Corridor and help with ridership there. The lawmaker also asserted that rail infrastructure needs to be improved, pointing out that although the United States is in the lead on freight rail, we are falling behind on passenger rail.
Meanwhile, Denham recommended getting creative with paying for these improvements, including using oil royalties or repatriation.
“We have the opportunity to move the country forward,” Denham said. “But it’s going to take bipartisan work.”
(We also thank Rep. Denham for revealing the secret to getting Republicans and Democrats to work together: their love of dogs. Denham has sponsored legislation that would require Amtrak to develop a pet policy for rail passengers.)