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October 29, 2007, 12:00 am ET - Amendment SA 3488 proposed by Senator Lott for Senator Hutchison.
October 29, 2007, 12:00 am ET - Amendment SA 3488 agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.

Full Text of this Amendment

SA 3488. Mrs. HUTCHISON submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by her to the bill S. 294, to reauthorize Amtrak, and for other purposes; as follows:

At the appropriate place, insert the following:
SEC. __. SENSE OF THE SENATE REGARDING THE NEED TO MAINTAIN AMTRAK AS A NATIONAL PASSENGER RAIL SYSTEM.
(a) Findings.--The Senate makes the following findings:
(1) In fiscal year 2007, 3,800,000 passengers traveled on Amtrak's long distance trains, an increase of 2.4 percent over fiscal year 2006.
(2) Amtrak long-distance routes generated $376,000,000 in revenue in fiscal year 2007, an increase of 5 percent over fiscal year 2006.
(3) Amtrak operates 15 long-distance trains over 18,500 route miles that serve 39 States and the District of Columbia. These trains provide the only rail passenger service to 23 States.
(4) Amtrak's long-distance trains provide an essential transportation service for many communities and to a significant percentage of the general public.
(5) Many long-distance trains serve small communities with limited or no significant air or bus service, especially in remote or isolated areas in the United States.
(6) As a result of airline deregulation and decisions by national bus carriers to leave many communities, rail transportation may provide the only feasible common carrier transportation option for a growing number of areas.
(7) If long-distance trains were eliminated, 23 States and 243 communities would be left with no intercity passenger rail service and 16 other States would lose some rail service. These trains provide a strong economic benefit for the States and communities that they serve.
(8) Long-distance trains also provide transportation during periods of severe weather or emergencies that stall other modes of transportation.
(9) Amtrak provided the only reliable long-distance transportation following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that grounded air travel.
(10) The majority of passengers on long-distance trains do not travel between the endpoints, but rather between any combination of cities along the route.
(11) Passenger trains provide transportation options, mobility for underserved populations, congestion mitigation, and jobs in the areas they serve.
(12) Passenger rail has a positive impact on the environment compared to other modes of transportation by conserving energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and cutting down on other airborne particulate and toxic emissions.
(13) Amtrak communities that are served use passenger rail and passenger rail stations as a significant source of economic development.
(14) This Act makes meaningful and important reforms to increase the efficiency, profitability and on-time performance of Amtrak's long-distance routes.
(b) Sense of the Senate.--It is the sense of the Senate that--
(1) long-distance passenger rail is a vital and necessary part of our national transportation system and economy; and
(2) Amtrak should maintain a national passenger rail system, including long-distance routes, that connects the continental United States from coast to coast and from border to border.


(As printed in the Congressional Record for the Senate on Oct 29, 2007.)