When baited by CNN’s Carol Costello, Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal used the fatal Philadelphia Amtrak crash to attack a Republican-controlled House committee that is considering cutting Amtrak’s federal subsidies.
COSTELLO: As you know, sir, the House Appropriation Committee is meeting as we speak and on the agenda — of course this was scheduled before this accident happened. But on their agenda are massive cuts to the Amtrak system.
BLUMENTHAL: Absolutely shocking and disgraceful that right now even as this tragedy is unfolding, even as we’re learning answers to vital question about the causes of this terrible tragic crash, the House of Representatives is considering cuts to the rail.
On the contrary, we should be investing, redoubling our commitment to the quality and reliability of tracks and equipment, cameras facing inward and outward, other kinds of safety and reliability equipment like automatic train control that would have slowed down the train if excessive speed was responsible. And this kind of commitment is no longer a luxury or convenience, it’s a necessity.
It’s worth noting that despite Blumenthal’s singling out of the House of Representatives, the House passed a bill with $7 billion in Amtrak subsidies earlier this year, which has stalled in the Senate. (VIDEO: MSNBC Pushes Gun Control Half An Hour Into Shooting Coverage)