Several prominent Democrat legislators used the fatal Philadelphia Amtrak crash to push for increased government spending on the Amtrak system, despite evidence indicating that a lack of infrastructure spending had nothing to do with the crash.
NBC News reported as early as 6 AM Wednesday morning that investigators believed that human error, specifically excessive speed, was behind the deadly crash. The Wall Street Journal likewise reports that investigators believe the train was traveling 100 mph on a curve with a speed limit of 50 mph.
If true, these reports would indicate that the state of the train, railway, or any other federally-funded infrastructure was irrelevant to the crash. But that didn’t stop Democrats from claiming that the crash justified the need to pour more government cash into the program. (VIDEO: Democratic Senator Immediately Politicizes Amtrak Crash)
Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal was first out of gate, saying on CNN that is was “absolutely shocking and disgraceful” that Republicans were attempting to decrease Amtrak subsidies. “We should be investing, redoubling our commitment to the quality and reliability of tracks and… other kinds of safety and reliability equipment.
Meanwhile, the Democratic members of the House Appropriation Committee issued a statement blaming the Republican-controlled Committee for reducing Amtrak spending. “While it’s too early to speculate on the cause of last night’s derailment, ensuring safety and reliability on our railways requires substantial investment in Amtrak,” said Philadelphia congressman Chaka Fattah.
“Yesterday’s tragedy in Philadelphia should be a wake-up call to this committee—we must provide sufficient funding for Amtrak’s critical infrastructure projects to ensure a safer transportation system,” said the committee’s ranking member North Carolina Rep. David Price.
New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez likewise said on the Senate floor that, “We don’t know what caused this accident, but we do know that we need to invest in 21st century systems and equipment, and stop relying on patchwork upgrades to old rusted 19th century rail-lines.” (RELATED: Democratic Senator Accuses Obama Of Sexism For Attacking Elizabeth Warren)