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109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    109-280

======================================================================



 
                   AMTRAK REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2005

                                _______
                                

November 8, 2005.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

     Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Transportation and 
                Infrastructure, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1630]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 1630) to authorize appropriations 
for the benefit of Amtrak for fiscal years 2006 through 2008, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill 
do pass.

                       Purpose of the Legislation

    The bill would authorize $2 billion per year for each of 
the fiscal years 2006 through 2008 to the Secretary of 
Transportation for the benefit of Amtrak capital and operating 
expenses, and Amtrak excess railroad retirement expense.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    H.R. 1630 was introduced by Mr. Young, Mr. Oberstar, Mr. 
LaTourette, and Ms. Brown on April 14, 2005.
    The Secretary of Transportation and the Amtrak Board of 
Directors must ensure that sufficient funds are reserved to 
satisfy Amtrak's contractual obligations for commuter rail and 
state-supported passenger rail services. Amtrak would be 
required to submit to the Secretary comprehensive business 
plans and follow-up reports with separate accounting for its 
various lines of business, and reports related to capital 
projects expenditures.
    According to Amtrak, this level of funding would be 
sufficient to complete the first three years of Amtrak's five 
year capital plan, which is geared towards restoring the Amtrak 
System, including the Northeast Corridor, to a good state of 
repair.
    H.R. 1630 would permit Amtrak to continue operating its 
present system. The legislation would also permit Amtrak to 
make capital investments to address deferred maintenance items 
on the Northeast Corridor.

                       Summary of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 names the bill the Amtrak Reauthorization Act of 
2005.

Section 2. Authorization of appropriations

    Section 24104 of Title 49 is modified as follows:
    (a) In General. The legislation authorizes the Secretary of 
Transportation to expend $2,000,000,000 per year for fiscal 
years 2006 through 2008 for Amtrak's capital and operating 
expenses.
    (b) Mandatory Payments.
          (1) In General. The amounts authorized to be 
        appropriated include funds to cover Amtrak payments 
        under the Railroad Retirement Act, Railroad 
        Unemployment Insurance Act, and associated payroll tax 
        laws for railroad retirement and unemployment 
        obligations in excess of those attributable to Amtrak's 
        own employees and retirees.
          (2) Request for Transfer of Funds. The Secretary may 
        make payments only upon receipt of a request from 
        Amtrak accompanied by the appropriate supporting 
        materials.
    (c) The Secretary and the Amtrak board are obliged to 
ensure that sufficient funds are reserved to sustain Amtrak's 
contractual obligations to operate commuter rail and state 
supported train services.
    (d) Not later than September 15 of each fiscal year, Amtrak 
is required to submit to the Secretary and Congress a 
comprehensive business plan for each of its lines of business 
for the subsequent fiscal year. In addition, beginning October 
1, 2005, Amtrak is required to submit a bi-monthly report 
detailing work completed under said business plan and any 
reasons for change therein.
    (e) Availability of Amounts.
          (1) Amounts appropriated remain available until 
        expended.
          (2) Amounts for capital acquisitions and improvements 
        may be appropriated in a fiscal year before the fiscal 
        year in which the amounts will be obligated.
    (f) Limitations on Use. Amounts appropriated may not be 
used to cross-subsidize commuter rail or freight operations.

            Legislative History and Committee Consideration

    No hearings were held by the Committee on H.R. 1630. 
However, hearings were held by the Subcommittee on Railroads on 
issues affecting Amtrak.
    On April 27, 2005, the Full Committee met in open session 
and ordered H.R. 1630 favorably reported by voice vote.

                             Rollcall Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives 
requires each committee report to include the total number of 
votes cast for and against on each rollcall vote on a motion to 
report, and on any amendment offered to the measure or matter, 
and the names of those members voting for and against. There 
were no rollcall votes.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                          Cost of Legislation

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

                    Compliance with House Rule XIII

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee 
references the report of the Congressional Budget Office 
included below.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
performance goals and objectives of this legislation provide 
for greater funding accountability for Amtrak and procedures to 
achieve that goal, consistent with the procedures in place 
under the Fiscal Year 2003 Department of Transportation 
appropriations law.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R. 
1630 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                       Washington, DC, May 9, 2005.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1630, the Amtrak 
Reauthorization Act of 2005.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Susanne 
Mehlman (for federal costs) and Jean Talarico (for the private-
sector impact).
            Sincerely,
                                     Elizabeth M. Robinson,
                               (For Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1630--Amtrak Reauthorization Act of 2005

    Summary: H.R. 1630 would authorize the appropriation of $6 
billion over the next three years for Amtrak's capital 
expenses, operating costs, and certain employee benefits. 
Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates 
that implementing H.R. 1630 would cost $6 billion over the 
2006-2008 period. Enacting H.R. 1630 would not affect direct 
spending or revenues.
    The bill contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined 
by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no 
costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    H.R. 1630 would impose a private-sector mandate, as defined 
in UMRA, on Amtrak. Based on information from Amtrak, CBO 
estimates that the direct costs of the mandate would fall well 
below the annual threshold established in UMRA ($123 million in 
2005, adjusted annually for inflation).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 1630 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 400 
(transportation).


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
                                                              2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Federal Spending for Amtrak Under Current Law:
    Budget Authority \1\..................................    1,207        0        0        0        0        0
    Estimated Outlays.....................................    1,207        0        0        0        0        0
Proposed Changes:
    Authorization Level...................................        0    2,000    2,000    2,000        0        0
    Estimated Outlays.....................................        0    2,000    2,000    2,000        0        0
Federal Spending for Amtrak Under H.R. 1630:
    Authorization Level \1\...............................    1,207    2,000    2,000    2,000        0        0
    Estimated Outlays.....................................    1,207    2,000    2,000    2,000        0       0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The 2005 level is the amount appropriated for that year for Amtrak.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
authorized amounts will be appropriated near the beginning of 
each fiscal year and that outlays will follow historical trends 
for prior Amtrak funding. CBO expects that Amtrak spending 
under this bill primarily would be for short-term capital 
projects and operating expenses. Currently, the Secretary of 
Transportation makes appropriated funds immediately available 
to Amtrak for such expenses.
    Estimated impact on State, local, and tribal governments: 
H.R. 1630 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined by 
UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: H.R. 1630 would 
impose a private-sector mandate as defined in UMRA on Amtrak. 
The bill would require Amtrak to submit an annual comprehensive 
business plan and a bimonthly supplemental report for the 
fiscal years 2006 through 2008 to the Secretary of 
Transportation and the Congress. The bimonthly supplemental 
report must describe the work completed to date, any changes in 
the business plan, and the reasons for such changes. Amtrak has 
released a comprehensive business plan for fiscal years 2006-
2010. Further, Amtrak submits a monthly report regarding 
changes in its business plan to the Congress, as required in 
the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005. Based on information 
from Amtrak, CBO estimates that the incremental costs of the 
requirements in H.R. 1630 would be negligible.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Susanne Mehlman. 
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Sarah Puro. 
Impact on the Private Sector: Jean Talarico.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause (3)(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, committee reports on a bill or 
joint resolution of a public character shall include a 
statement citing the specific powers granted to the Congress in 
the Constitution to enact the measure. The Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure finds that Congress has the 
authority to enact this measure pursuant to its powers granted 
under article I, section 8 of the Constitution.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act. (Public Law 104-4).

                        Preemption Clarification

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1994 
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the 
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state, local or 
tribal law. The Committee states that H.R. 1630 does not 
preempt any state, local, or tribal law.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                Applicability to the Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act. (Public Law 
104-1).

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

             SECTION 24104 OF TITLE 49, UNITED STATES CODE


[Sec. 24104. Authorization of appropriations

  [(a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated to 
the Secretary of Transportation--
          [(1) $1,138,000,000 for fiscal year 1998;
          [(2) $1,058,000,000 for fiscal year 1999;
          [(3) $1,023,000,000 for fiscal year 2000;
          [(4) $989,000,000 for fiscal year 2001; and
          [(5) $955,000,000 for fiscal year 2002,
for the benefit of Amtrak for capital expenditures under 
chapters 243, 247, and 249 of this title, operating expenses, 
and payments described in subsection (c)(1)(A) through (C). In 
fiscal years following the fifth anniversary of the enactment 
of the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act of 1997 no funds 
authorized for Amtrak shall be used for operating expenses 
other than those prescribed for tax liabilities under section 
3221 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 that are more than 
the amount needed for benefits of individuals who retire from 
Amtrak and for their beneficiaries.
  [(b) Operating Expenses.--(1) Not more than $381,000,000 may 
be appropriated to the Secretary for each of the fiscal years 
ending September 30, 1993, and September 30, 1994, for the 
benefit of Amtrak for operating expenses. Not more than 5 
percent of the amounts appropriated for each fiscal year shall 
be used to pay operating expenses under section 24704 of this 
title for transportation in operation on September 30, 1992.
  [(2)(A) Not more than the following amounts may be 
appropriated to the Secretary for the benefit of Amtrak for 
operating losses under section 24704 of this title for 
transportation beginning after September 30, 1992:
          [(i) $7,500,000 for the fiscal year ending September 
        30, 1993.
          [(ii) $9,500,000 for the fiscal year ending September 
        30, 1994.
  [(B) The expenditure by Amtrak of an amount appropriated 
under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph is deemed not to be an 
operating expense when calculating the revenue-to-operating 
expense ratio of Amtrak.
  [(c) Mandatory Payments.--(1) Not more than $150,000,000 for 
the fiscal year ending September 30, 1993, and amounts that may 
be necessary for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1994, may 
be appropriated to the Secretary to pay--
          [(A) tax liabilities under section 3221 of the 
        Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 3221) due in 
        those fiscal years that are more than the amount needed 
        for benefits for individuals who retire from Amtrak and 
        for their beneficiaries;
          [(B) obligations of Amtrak under section 8(a) of the 
        Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (45 U.S.C. 358(a)) 
        due in those fiscal years that are more than 
        obligations of Amtrak calculated on an experience-
        related basis; and
          [(C) obligations of Amtrak due under section 3321 of 
        the Code (26 U.S.C. 3321).
  [(2) Amounts appropriated under this subsection are not a 
United States Government subsidy of Amtrak.
  [(d) Payment to Amtrak.--Amounts appropriated under this 
section shall be paid to Amtrak under the budget request of the 
Secretary as approved or modified by Congress when the amounts 
are appropriated. A payment may not be made more frequently 
than once every 90 days, unless Amtrak, for good cause, 
requests more frequent payment before a 90-day period ends. In 
each fiscal year in which amounts are authorized to be 
appropriated under this section, amounts appropriated shall be 
paid to Amtrak as follows:
          [(1) 50 percent on October 1.
          [(2) 25 percent on January 1.
          [(3) 25 percent on April 1.
  [(e) Availability of Amounts and Early Appropriations.--(1) 
Amounts appropriated under this section remain available until 
expended.
  [(2) Amounts for capital acquisitions and improvements may be 
appropriated in a fiscal year before the fiscal year in which 
the amounts will be obligated.
  [(f) Limitations on Use.--Amounts appropriated under this 
section may not be used to subsidize operating losses of 
commuter rail passenger or rail freight transportation.]

Sec. 24104. Authorization of appropriations

  (a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated to 
the Secretary of Transportation $2,000,000,000 for each of the 
fiscal years 2006 through 2008, for the benefit of Amtrak for 
capital expenditures under chapters 243, 247, and 249 of this 
title, operating expenses, and payments described in subsection 
(b).
  (b) Mandatory Payments.--
          (1) In general.--Funds authorized under subsection 
        (a) shall include--
                  (A) an amount equal to the amount Amtrak is 
                required to pay under section 3221 of the 
                Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 3221) 
                that is more than the amount needed for 
                anticipated benefits for individuals who retire 
                from Amtrak and for their beneficiaries; and
                  (B) amounts necessary to pay--
                          (i) obligations of Amtrak under 
                        section 8(a) of the Railroad 
                        Unemployment Insurance Act (45 U.S.C. 
                        358(a)) due in those fiscal years that 
                        are more than obligations of Amtrak 
                        calculated on an experience-related 
                        basis; and
                          (ii) obligations of Amtrak due under 
                        section 3321 of the Internal Revenue 
                        Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 3321).
          (2) Request for transfer of funds.--The Secretary 
        shall make payments to the Treasury of amounts 
        authorized under paragraph (1) only after the Secretary 
        has received from Amtrak a request for the transfer of 
        such funds, which shall include materials supporting, 
        to the satisfaction of the Secretary, the amount of the 
        request.
  (c) Contractual Obligations.--From amounts appropriated 
pursuant to this section, the Secretary and the Amtrak Board of 
Directors shall ensure that sufficient funds are reserved to 
satisfy Amtrak's contractual obligations for commuter and 
State-supported passenger rail service.
  (d) Annual Business Plan and Supplemental Reports.--
          (1) Business plan.--Not later than September 15 of 
        each of 2005, 2006, and 2007, Amtrak shall transmit to 
        the Secretary and the Congress a comprehensive business 
        plan for the subsequent fiscal year, including, as 
        applicable, targets for ridership, revenues, and 
        capital and operating expenses. The plan shall include 
        the following:
                  (A) A separate accounting of such targets for 
                each of the following:
                          (i) Northeast Corridor.
                          (ii) Commuter service.
                          (iii) Long-distance Amtrak service.
                          (iv) State-supported service.
                          (v) Commercial activities (including 
                        contract operations and mail and 
                        express).
                The plan shall also include targets for each 
                intercity train route, including Autotrain.
                  (B) With respect to capital projects, a 
                description of the work to be funded, a work 
                timetable, cost estimates, and a list of other 
                funding sources if the project is not entirely 
                funded by the Federal Government.
          (2) Supplemental reports.--Not later than October 1, 
        2005, and once each alternate month thereafter, Amtrak 
        shall transmit to the Secretary and the Congress a 
        supplemental report regarding the business plan 
        transmitted under paragraph (1), which shall describe 
        the work completed to date, any changes to the business 
        plan, and the reasons for such changes.
  (e) Availability of Amounts and Early Appropriations.--(1) 
Amounts appropriated under this section remain available until 
expended.
  (2) Amounts for capital acquisitions and improvements may be 
appropriated in a fiscal year before the fiscal year in which 
the amounts will be obligated.
  (f) Limitations on Use.--Amounts appropriated under this 
section may not be used to subsidize operating losses of 
commuter rail passenger or rail freight transportation.