PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Representative Ryan Costello (R-PA), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, told Radio 1210 WPHT midday host Dom Giordano that his recent comments on CNN about the Amtrak disaster and the company’s funding have been taken out of context by some.
“In no point in time did I suggest that there was causation between a lack of infrastructure spending and this accident…I want to make sure that I’m not getting thrown in with some of the politicians on the other side of the aisle that are trying to take a tragedy and turn it into an increased funding argument. That’s in no way shape or form what my argument was.”
The Congressman from the 6th District does not want to add to what he feels is wasteful spending, but instead force Amtrak’s hands in becoming more efficient.
“I think that they need to run more efficiently, and when you look at what the capital improvement needs are for these fifteen lines of, like, $21 billion over the next few decades, I don’t think that we should be cutting it. I don’t think that we should necessarily be adding to it, but there’s a lot of waste in our government and looking at the Northeast Corridor…I don’t think that we should be padding it.”
Giordano challenged him on that saying that the funding should be paid by the customers riding on the train as opposed to the taxpayers who for the most part do not use it.
“The Northeast Corridor makes money. We subsidize everywhere else in the country. If you look particularly at the Northeast Corridor, reducing that funding means we get less of our projects done. We have a lot of revitalization happening along the train station corridor that’s going to rely on a long term and safe reliable passenger rail. I’m all for looking at where we can cut. I’m all for demonstrating other areas where there’s subsidies that favor certain geographic pockets of this country that get ignored when we talk about government spending cuts.”