(USNewsMag.com) – Despite previously promising to confirm President Biden’s six Amtrak Board nominees, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) announced on April 23 that he would block them.
Biden revealed his Amtrak Board candidates in April 2022. At a Sept. 7, 2022, Senate Committee hearing for Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Tester told the candidates that he was going to confirm them by vote.
Tester stated that they need to work hard to comprehend extended-distance traffic. He perused their biographies without understanding their origins. Ultimately, losing Amtrak in his state of Montana would be devastating.
Tester, who’s running for another term in the Senate, has consistently voted to approve all of Biden’s judicial and executive candidates. He stated that he would vote against the six candidates since none are located in the western US.
Amtrak, according to Tester, is not just important to Montana, it is crucial to the economy and rural towns throughout the nation. It is critical that people in rural areas of the US have an impact on Amtrak in order to avoid being left aside. After reviewing the president’s choices and discovering that none are located in the western states but five are located in the northeast US, he will block any candidates until the rural locations of America are represented.
Republicans were outspoken in their opposition to Biden’s public transit proposals. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) provided $58 billion to Amtrak, which Biden has supported since he was a senator. Amtrak faced future financial problems prior to the pandemic-era cash injection and the IIJA.
South Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii, and Wyoming are not served by the railroad system. In western states such as Nevada, Montana, and North Dakota, it has just one line.
Tester finished by adding that when his bipartisan infrastructure bill was approved, they established explicit geographic standards to guarantee that Amtrak has representation from every region of the nation on its board. This list of candidates falls short of those standards.
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