House rejects cuts to Amtrak

The House on Monday rejected proposals from Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) to slash funding for Amtrak.

Broun, who failed to proceed in the Georgia Senate Republican primary last month, argued cutting Amtrak's budget would give it motivation to improve customer service and management.

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"Amtrak has struggled for way too long under the status quo. It's time to send them a message," Broun said.

Broun's first amendment would have eliminated all $340 million in funding for Amtrak in the 2015 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. It was rejected by voice vote.

The Georgia Republican's second amendment, rejected 154-248, would have cut Amtrak funding by $34 million, or 10 percent overall. Broun said the cut would be only a "paltry amount."

"I'm asking my colleagues to tell Amtrak that we will not continue to reward bad behavior," Broun said. "And that when we ask for reform, we expect real reform to begin and take place."

But retiring Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa), the chairman of the House Appropriations Transportation and Housing and Urban Development subcommittee, said cutting Amtrak's budget would be counterproductive.

"If in fact the amendment were put in place, there could be interruptions of service in the northeast or throughout the system," Latham said.

This post was updated at 7:10 p.m.