Sunday, June 19, 2011

Corrine Brown and John Mica split over plan to privatize Amtrak

U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., is pushing a plan to privatize Amtrak in the Northeast section of America. But his proposal is drawing an angry rebuke from U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla.

Mica and Brown both sit on the powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Mica is the chairman, and Brown is the ranking Democrat on the rail subcommittee. The two have tended to be cordial to each other in the past since they share common interests in Northeast Florida.

But on Wednesday Brown specifically mentioned Mica in criticizing the privatization plan.

“While Congressman Mica refuses to focus on critical infrastructure issues, he is bent on destroying Amtrak," Brown said. At the very time that we should be working together to solve the problems plaguing this nation's transportation infrastructure, Chairman Mica is introducing divisive legislation that is dead on arrival in the Senate.”

“After 40 years of highly subsidized, poorly managed Amtrak operations, it’s time for Congress to change the direction of America’s failed high-speed and intercity passenger rail service,” Mica said. “This new direction will employ private sector competition to bring real high-speed rail to the Northeast Corridor, reform passenger rail service across the country, and lower taxpayer costs."

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