Dems slam GOP over Amtrak cuts
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Senate Democrats slammed House Republicans on Thursday for cutting Amtrak's funding, in the wake of a crash that killed eight people.

"It's unacceptable that our Republican colleagues would deny Amtrak the funding it needs," Sen. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedThis week: Congress returns to chaotic Washington Fury over Trump Syria decision grows Democrats warn Trump's Turkey sanctions don't go far enough MORE (D-R.I.) told reporters. "The Republican budget is headed the wrong way on Amtrak."


Reed spoke at a press conference with Democratic Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezHouse to vote on resolution condemning Trump's Syria pullback Rand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter Senators ask Treasury to probe Brazilian meatpacker with major US footprint MORE (N.J.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs Senate confirms Trump's Air Force secretary pick Democratic senators condemn Trump for calling on China to investigate Bidens MORE (Mass.), Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyBacklash erupts at video depicting Trump killing media, critics Congress set for showdown with Trump over Kurds Administration to give 'top secret' briefing on Syria amid pushback MORE (Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsMeet the dog and 'sea turtle' who launched campaigns for office Senators demand briefing on Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria 2020 Democrats push for gun control action at forum MORE (Del.), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyHere are the Senate Democrats backing a Trump impeachment inquiry over Ukraine call Ex-GOP congressman to lead group to protect Italian products from tariffs The Hill's Morning Report - Progressives, centrists clash in lively Democratic debate MORE Jr. (Pa.) and Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' Mattis responds to Trump criticism: 'I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals' Democrats vow to push for repeal of other Trump rules after loss on power plant rollback MORE (N.Y.).

Schumer said if Amtrak's budget is cut it would have to choose between safety and upgrades, adding it "will be forced to rob Peter to pay Paul."

Republicans have disputed the idea that funding cuts to Amtrak had anything to do with last week's derailment. House Republicans voted to cut federal funding for Amtrak to $1.14 billion in the next fiscal year, down from $1.39 billion.

Reports have indicated that speed may have been a factor in the Amtrak derailment.

Democrats have countered that technology that would have forced the train to slow had not been implemented. They have linked that failure to funding issues. 

"For John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerIs Congress retrievable? Boehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush Meadows to be replaced by Biggs as Freedom Caucus leader MORE to say that questions about Amtrak spending are stupid, is an insult to the American people," Blumenthal said.

Speaker BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerIs Congress retrievable? Boehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush Meadows to be replaced by Biggs as Freedom Caucus leader MORE (R-Ohio) last week suggested it was "stupid" to ask about Democrats’ assertions that Republican-led cuts to Amtrak's budget might have contributed to the train derailment outside of Philadelphia.