Amy Goodman

As Train Crash Death Toll Rises, GOP Votes to Cut Amtrak Budget by $250 Million and Delay Safety Upgrades

2015-05-14T00:59:20-07:00

"Democracy Now!" airs weekdays at 9 a.m. PT on KCET.

The death toll from Tuesday's Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia is now at seven and is expected to rise. About a dozen passengers are still missing.

Authorities now say the train was traveling at about 106 miles per hour, more than double the speed limit, as it headed into a steep curve. National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt said the accident would have been preventable if Amtrak had installed positive train control technology on that section of track.

Just hours after the crash, the Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee rejected a Democratic amendment to offer $825 million to speed up positive train control implementation. In addition, the committee voted to cut Amtrak's budget by $250 million.

Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, which represents two million transportation workers including the vast majority of Amtrak workers, and David Sirota, senior writer at the International Business Times, join "Democracy Now!" to discuss the committee's actions.




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