Lois Herr, the Democratic candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional District, has pointed to a glaring inconsistency in Congressman Joe Pitts’ public statement on Amtrak in Lancaster. “Joe Pitts tries to come off as an Amtrak booster in his taxpayer-funded campaign mail,” Herr said. “But he’s no friend of rail travel in Lancaster County.”
In Pitts’ latest franked newsletter, he takes credit for funding for the ongoing renovation of Amtrak’s Lancaster station, which he correctly describes as the third-busiest in Pennsylvania. Pitts is seen smiling in a photo taken at the construction site.
What Pitts doesn’t say in his taxpayer-funded newsletter is that he has recently voted repeatedly to cut Amtrak’s funding. The National Association of Railroad Passengers reports that in debate on H.R. 5850 – the fiscal 2011 Transportation spending bill — Pitts voted for four Republican-sponsored amendments which would have cut Amtrak’s funding by over $1.7 billion, and reduced overall transportation spending to fiscal 2009 levels. All four amendments were defeated soundly.
“There’s more to assuring modern rail passenger service than showing up for the cameras,” said Herr. “As a frequent Amtrak passenger, I understand the need for fast, safe, comfortable rail service. Joe Pitts doesn’t do the hard work needed to grow rail in Lancaster County, and I will.”