(Host) Senator James Jeffords says he’s confident that Congress will pass emergency funding to keep the nation’s passenger rail system in operation. Jeffords says shutting down Amtrak would lead to utter chaos in many parts of the country.
All three members of Vermont’s congressional delegation are supporting an effort to add a $200 million short-term appropriation for Amtrak to a supplemental budget bill later this week. Jeffords says Congress must pass the emergency funding request because the alternative is unthinkable:
(Jeffords) “Cash is needed and thus I am hopeful that they will come around to knowing that. Otherwise, we’re going to have chaos not only in New York but all the way around the country because it’s just going to stop and then all hell is going to break loose.”
(Host) Amtrak operates two passenger trains in Vermont and the future of these trains is still very much up in the air. Amtrak wants to redraw the state’s contract for $2.7 million but Vermont lawmakers have only allocated $2 million for the service. The spending differences have not been resolved and the contract expires at the end of the month.