GOP, Amtrak Argue About Train Subsidies

Stake out well-known positions


House Republicans and Amtrak debated on Tuesday who should be picking up the tab for long-distance rail lines in the U.S.

Each side agrees that the routes are sure money-losers. But the agreement stopped Tuesday when it came to whether or not the federal government should be subsidizing the service.

"Year after year these routes lose money," Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) said during a hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee after acknowledging Amtrak's gains in ridership on its shorter routes. 

"In 2012, they lost a combined $600 million," Denham said of the company's long-distance service. "We simply cannot afford to continue these levels of subsidized losses year after year."