The House : Amtrak Funds

By a vote of 173 for and 245 against, the House rejected an amendment to cut the fiscal 1986 appropriation for Amtrak by 3.7%, from $603.5 million to $581.4 million. This was the first test of whether the House is serious about obeying the 1986 budget resolution it approved on Aug. 1.

The resolution set a target of $55.5 billion in 1986 deficit reductions, including a 15% cut in spending for Amtrak, the rail passenger agency.

When coupled with reductions made in committee, this amendment would have deepened the Amtrak cut to the 15% target level.

The vote occurred during debate on the 1986 Department of Transportation appropriations bill (HR 3244), which was headed for passage and the Senate.

Supporter Dan Coats (R-Ind.) said members should support the amendment because “we declared victory on the budget. We went home and told our constituents that we have enacted meaningful budget reductions.”


Opponent William Lehman (D-Fla.) said: “I want Amtrak to survive. It has already taken its fair share of cuts.”

Members voting no were opposed to the 3.7% cut in Amtrak spending.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Dreier (R) x Rep. Martinez (D) x Rep. Moorhead (R) x Rep. Roybal (D) x Rep. Torres (D) x

New York Project

The House passed, 287 for and 132 against, an amendment to delete money in HR 3244 (above) that was earmarked for the Westway federal highway project in New York. Estimates are that the 4.2-mile highway on the west side of Manhattan would cost between $2.3 billion and $6 billion. Federal court decisions have made it virtually impossible for work to begin any time in the foreseeable future, if ever.

This amendment prohibited federal funding of the Hudson River landfill that would be built to hold the highway.

Supporter Ted Weiss (D-N.Y.), in whose district the road would be built, called the Westway “a real estate boondoggle . . . posing as a highway project.”

Calling Westway “a sound investment of the federal dollar,” Mario Biaggi (D-N.Y.), who opposed the amendment, said, “The construction industry will be working on that Westway for some 10 years.”

Members voting yes were opposed to federal funding of the Westway.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Dreier (R) x Rep. Martinez (D) x Rep. Moorhead (R) x Rep. Roybal (D) x Rep. Torres (D) x

WHERE TO REACH THEM David Dreier, 33rd District

112 N. 2nd Ave., Covina (818) 339-9078

Matthew Martinez, 30th District

1712 W. Beverly Blvd., Suite 201, Montebello (213) 722-7731

Carlos J. Moorhead, 22th District

301 E. Colorado Blvd., Room 618, Pasadena (818) 792-6168

Edward R. Roybal, 25th District

300 N. Los Angeles St., Los Angeles (213) 894-4870

Esteban Torres, 34th District

1400 West Covina Parkway, Suite 201, West Covina (818) 814-1557