Washington, DC - Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues this statement in response to President Trump’s budget proposal:
“The austerity measures offered for transportation in the President’s budget blueprint go in the wrong direction and must be rejected. We cannot cut our way to a better and more modern transportation system.
“The President has rightfully called for a historic $1 trillion investment in our transportation system and infrastructure. But the budget released today does not advance that vision and instead would deal a severe blow to many key investment programs that are critical to our passenger and freight transportation network.
“At a time when the President has said repeatedly that America needs ‘fast trains,’ we hope to convince the Administration that cutting Amtrak funding as the company is enjoying significant ridership success and achieving better operating metrics is no way to achieve faster and more frequent train service. And choking off all funding for Amtrak’s long-distance train service, as the budget proposes, will harm jobs and only exacerbate the mobility crisis facing so many communities, especially in smaller and rural cities with fewer transportation choices.
“Congress should reject the budget’s attempt to eliminate funding for the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) popular New Starts program, a bipartisan program that has been key to completing major capital projects, expanding service and creating good jobs in construction, operations and other sectors. These cuts would also harm commuters who are demanding more and better transportation options and local businesses that need investments in new transit and rail lines to spur growth and economic development.
“We are extremely concerned that the budget guts the Essential Air Service (EAS) Program. These cuts would harm rural and underserved communities that lack access to a fully-mature transportation system, and rely on subsidized air transportation services or face further economic isolation.
“The budget also siphons critical funding from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a move that would effectively reduce the number of security professionals on the frontlines of protecting Americans from safety and security threats in our airports.
“We call on Congress to reject the misguided transportation cuts included in the President’s budget and instead advance new investments in programs that grow, modernize and enhance our transportation network and create and sustain middle-class jobs.”