Singer Cher rips GOP over Amtrak funding
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Singer Cher criticized Republicans on Wednesday for cutting Amtrak’s funding after one of its trains crashed the night before.
“Hrs ago, Republicans chose 2 cut Some of The meager Funds, 4 AMTRAK!!” Cher tweeted.
“They did this EVEN AFTER the Train Crash & loss of Life, last nite!!” she said.
“Majority of GOP congressmen & senators don’t give a flying Fk about the wellbeing of Americans,” Cher said in a separate tweet. “They defund Everything PPL DESPERATELY NEED.”
Cher’s remarks followed Northeast Regional Train 188’s derailment in Philadelphia late Tuesday.
The House hit Amtrak with reductions Wednesday as part of a $55 billon funding bill for the departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development.
The GOP-sponsored measure shrinks Amtrak’s available cash to $1.13 billion, down from roughly $1.4 billion Congress appropriated in 2015.
Democrats argued Wednesday the maneuver exposed Republican insensitivity towards Tuesday night’s accident.
“Last night, we failed them,” Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said of Train 188’s victims.
“We failed to invest in their safety,” he said. “We failed to make their safety our priority.”
“It defies the interests of the American people,” he added.
Republicans countered that Democrats were politicizing a tragedy without fully understanding its cause.
“I was disappointed to hear my colleague talk about the funding for Amtrak and to suggest that because we haven’t funded it, that’s what caused the accident, when you have no idea what caused the accident,” said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) of Israel’s remarks.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators announced Wednesday that Train 188’s engineer had tried using its emergency brakes.
That measure failed, the agency argued, given the train was traveling in excess of 100 miles per hour.
The Federal Railroad Administration lists the speed limit for the section of track where the crash occurred as 50 miles per hour.
Tuesday’s derailment killed seven passengers and wounded at least 140 more.