By Keith Laing
In a hearing last week about the approximately $1 billion in subsidies Amtrak has received annually from the federal government since it was created to replace a network of independent railways in 1971, Mica said he was "very committed to reforming passenger rail service.
"Taxpayers have been footing the bill for Amtrak’s gravy train for over forty years, and all they’ve gotten in return for their $40 billion investment is an inefficient, costly, Soviet-style passenger rail system," Mica said in a statement after the meeting.
Wytkind said Monday that the campaign against Amtrak goes beyond Mica.
"Remember, the head of the Republican Party today, Gov. Mitt Romney, is no supporter of modernizing our transportation system," Wytkind wrote.
"Gov. Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, have advocated on numerous occasions ending public funding for Amtrak. They even support raising the retirement age for workers under the Railroad Retirement system," Wytkind continued. "Across the board, they want to cut vital transportation infrastructure investments — and the jobs they create — because they deem tax cuts for billionaires to be a better use of government resources."
The AFL-CIO has endorsed President Obama in his bid for reelection.