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Passenger Trains > Trumps Amtrak Board Nominees Senate hearing 7/24

Date: 07/19/19 16:39
Trumps Amtrak Board Nominees Senate hearing 7/24
Author: Flyer92122

Todays RPA newsletter reports hearing scheduled for next week. I thought there was still a hold on all the Anti Amtrak nominees?

RPA 7/19/19

“The Senate Committee on Commerce will convene a nomination hearing on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 to consider presidential nominations to the Amtrak Board of Directors.The Committee will look at President Trump’s nomination of former Congressman Todd Rokita of Indiana to be an Amtrak board member. Rail Passengers came out against the nomination based on his habit of voting for amendments that would result in the end of Amtrak service—some nationally, some targeted at specific regions or business lines.“Our leadership has been skeptical of the many questionable Amtrak board nominations put forward by this administration, and this is a step too far,” said Mathews when Rokita was nominated back in May. “Mr. Rokita may end up saying the right things during his confirmation hearing, but we can say without a doubt that he has no appreciation for the way Amtrak-served communities depend on the National Network to connect them to the rest of America, and hasn’t spent time developing a vision for how Amtrak could better serve America’s passengers.”If you see your Senator in the list of Senate Commerce Committee members below, please call them and let them know you oppose Mr. Rokita’s nomination based on his voting record. Just phone the United States Capitol switchboard at [url=tel:(202) 224-3121](202) 224-3121[/url], and a switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.”Republican Members (Majority)Democratic Members (Minority)Wicker, Roger F. (MS), ChairmanThune, John (SD)Blunt, Roy (MO)Cruz, Ted (TX)Fischer, Deb (NE)Moran, Jerry (KS)Sullivan, Dan (AK)Gardner, Cory (CO)Blackburn, Marsha (TN)Capito, Shelley Moore (WV)Lee, Mike (UT)Johnson, Ron (WI)Young, Todd (IN)Scott, Rick (FL)Cantwell, Maria (WA), Ranking MemberKlobuchar, Amy (MN)Blumenthal, Richard (CT)Schatz, Brian (HI)Markey, Edward J. (MA)Udall, Tom (NM)Peters, Gary C. (MI)Baldwin, Tammy (WI)Duckworth, Tammy (IL)Tester, Jon (MT)Sinema, Kyrsten (AZ)Rosen, Jacky (NV) 

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/19/19 16:44 by Flyer92122.

Date: 07/19/19 16:52
Re: Trumps Amtrak Board Nominees Senate hearing 7/24
Author: Winnemucca

I will call Monday AM. My two Senators, Fienstein and Harris aren't on the Commerce Committee but, nonetheless, they need to hear from you and I. 

John Webb
Trinidad, CA

Date: 07/19/19 17:57
Re: Trumps Amtrak Board Nominees Senate hearing 7/24
Author: ProAmtrak

He gets on it, we all know it's gonna be a much bloodier battle compared to last year, this year right now is getting almost as bad because of Propellar Head!

Date: 07/19/19 20:23
Re: Trumps Amtrak Board Nominees Senate hearing 7/24
Author: mundo

And to top it off, he is from a state that does not care for rail passenger service!

Date: 07/19/19 20:29
Re: Trumps Amtrak Board Nominees Senate hearing 7/24
Author: RuleG

mundo Wrote:
> And to top it off, he is from a state that does
> not care for rail passenger service!


Indiana's decision not to continue funding the Hoosier State is not solely representative of the state's position on passenger rail service.  Indiana is committing substantial funding for an extension of the South Shore Line.

Date: 07/20/19 12:48
South Shore Funding Issues and Todd Rokita comments
Author: 79mph

Getting a little weary of hearing that tired argument about alleged Indiana political support for the South Shore.
Indiana's promised match for the South Shore is totally contingent upon federal funding, which has been iffy and getting iffier.
The application has now been recently filed for the federal funding, and was anticipated to be approved, but sadly, the national administration has shown signs of crawfishing on both the original amount and the % of the anticipated match.
If the Fed's do not come through with the full amount requested, Indiana is out.
There has been some behind the scenes work in getting a federal budget agreement to avoid government shutdown in the Fall, but another factor to consider is the possibility of sequestration and other fallout if the debt ceiling is not modified.
If and when appropriation of the funding actually happens, then and only then would it be appropriate to talk about how much the State of Indiana will commit to the South Shore.

Mr. Rokita was alleged to be a tea party fiscal hawk conservative type when first elected, but did very little for his district in Indiana, and was largely ineffective in Washington.
While in office, he did not stand up for the Hoosier State, the Cardinal, or any of the efforts to bring conducted by many to implement the high speed rail corridor across Ohio and Indiana. 
He was a nominal Republican when elected, but had his own rather extreme philosophy about most things while he was in office.  Mostly just voted against everything, or did not vote at all.
He could be possibily compared to the Rand Paul style of politics, unwilling to compromise with anyone, and willing to throw the baby out with bathwater.  

Have no idea why he would want to take on that position.  The pay for being an Amtrak Director evidently varies between $150,000 and $200,000 a year, comparable to what he was making as a Congressman, but less than he pulls down working for his present employer, Apex. 
One factor is that his future federal pension and health insurance benefits might depend upon serving a few more years in a covered government position of some sort.
A suspicion is that he is angling for a longer term slot with the Department of Transportation, since as a pilot aviation is more his interest. This could also be part of the agenda to privitze the airspace system in the United States.
To say something positive about him, since as a pilot he does seem to have a grasp of aviation needs.

Hopefully some of the Senators at Wednesday's hearing will have the foresight to ask the right questions about why Mr. Rokita would have any interest in this position.


Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/19 13:36 by 79mph.

Date: 07/20/19 15:54
Re: South Shore Funding Issues and Todd Rokita comments
Author: Flyer92122

Is the board even a full time position? How often do they actually meet? I am assuming he would keep his day job. Seems high for a public sector board position. It’s not like an oil or healthcare company making a billion plus profit.

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