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Letter to the Editor of the Day

Arlen Specter: Life-long friend of Amtrak:

Arlen Specter

Philadelphia Inquirer

Sep 24, 2009

Your article on my advocacy for funding to repair Amtrak’s crumbling bridges correctly details my efforts. However, the story also contains a false claim — without rebuttal from me — from U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak (D., Pa.) that I am a late convert to funding for Amtrak (“Specter seeks stimulus for train bridges,” Tuesday).

Sestak is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. I have consistently and successfully advocated for increased funding for Amtrak, particularly in my capacity as a senior member of the Senate appropriations subcommittee on transportation, and have been recognized for these efforts by the National Association of Railroad Passengers. Last year, I pushed for legislation to authorize $13 billion for Amtrak over five years. During consideration of the economic stimulus bill, for which I provided one of the deciding votes, I worked to include $850 million for Amtrak capital grants, $50 million more than the amount proposed in the House of Representatives. I will continue to be a champion for Amtrak in the U.S. Senate so that it may succeed as an essential mode of transportation across the country.

U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa)

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