The dog wags back!

A sometimes funny, somtimes angry, but mostly progressive, blog on the politics and issues of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and America.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Santorum's Amtrak Choice: Bush, or Constituents?

From: Capital Region Stonewall Dems <>
This was mentioned in today's Philly Inquirer, but here's the full release(also available at

Santorum: Stuck Between a Track and a Hard Place
February 07, 2005
By Phil Singer

Bush's Budget Eliminates Amtrak; Will Santorum Break With The White House to Support Pennsylvania?

The Bush budget that came out today puts Rick Santorum between a track and a hard place. Santorum, who is up for re-election in 2006, will feel the heat during the upcoming fight over Amtrak funding. Republicans have had it out for Amtrak for years, and now during an election year, Bush has pushed an issue that cuts two ways for Santorum. Either he supports Bush's budget plan to eliminate Amtrak and continues to walk in lock step with Bush or he breaks with Bush over Amtrak funding and risks angering the White House. Santorum has already cast a vote to hurt Amtrak that he will be forced to explain during his re-election bid. Now the White House has landed him between a track and a hard place.

BUSH BUDGET WOULD SHUT DOWN AMTRAK: The Bush budget eliminates all funding for Amtrak. [Bush Budget]

OVER 3,000 PA RESIDENTS ARE EMPLOYED BY AMTRAK: During fiscal year 2004, Amtrak employed 3,061 Pennsylvania residents. Total wages of Amtrak employees living in Pennsylvania were $149,652,070 during this period. [Amtrak]

PA AMTRAK RIDERSHIP TOTALED OVER 4.8 MILLION RIDERS IN 2004: Amtrak operates approximately 120 daily trains through Pennsylvania, including Acela Express, Keystone, Metroliner, and Regional service.

Santorum Voted Against Funding for Amtrak in 2003: Santorum voted against an amendment to the 2003 Budget Resolution to increase spending on Amtrak by $912 million. [3/21/2003, #77]

Ridership by City
Altoona: 31,194
Ardmore: 38,108
Coatesville: 5,134
Connellsville: 3,778
Cornwells Heights: 25,968
Downingtown: 25,403
Elizabethtown: 43,902
Erie: 8,254
Exton: 39,277
Greensburg: 13,346
Harrisburg: 317,485
Huntingdon: 4,822
Johnstown: 20,126
Lancaster: 305,503
Latrobe: 3,548
Lewistown: 9,762
Middletown: 24,257
Mount Joy: 23,415
Paoli: 67,784
Parkesburg: 22,375
Philadelphia 30th St.*: 3,690,620
Philadelphia-North: 827
Pittsburgh: 123,101
Tyrone: 1,033

Total Pennsylvania Ridership: 4,849,022