House GOP asks Amtrak to help them smear Biden for taking trains

10660
Advertisement

And they want all information 'no later' than the day before the election.

House Republicans on Tuesday called on Amtrak to start an investigation into Vice President Joe Biden's use of a charter Amtrak train and pushed the agency to deliver the results on the day before this year's election.

Biden took a tour of several states in the Rust Belt in late September and early October. Biden has long been closely associated with Amtrak, since as a senator he frequently rode the train between Washington, D.C., and Delaware. Biden has estimated that he has ridden 2.1 million miles on the train in his lifetime.

The Amtrak station in Wilmington, Delaware, is even named after Biden.

Advertisement

On their most recent expenditure report, the Biden campaign reported that it had spent $265,000 to lease the train.

The letter from the minority members of a subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee was signed by Reps. Rick Crawford (R-AR), Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Scott Perry (R-PA), and Lloyd Smucker (R-PA).

"We are concerned that the Biden campaign's use of Amtrak's charter train redirected Amtrak's scarce resources during a time of record losses, employee layoffs, and service cuts during the COVID-19 pandemic," they wrote.

"We are concerned that the apparent use of a struggling, resource-deprived, publicly-run service for political gain does not serve the best interests of Amtrak or the American taxpayers at this time."

The Republicans ask the agency to provide information on the charter "no later than November 2, 2020."

Election Day is on Nov. 3.

Despite the purported concern expressed for Amtrak by his Republican allies, Donald Trump's most recent budget called for a 50% reduction in federal subsidies for the rail service.

"It would be a huge blow to passenger train [travel] in the United States if this was implemented," Sean Jeans-Gail, vice president of the Rail Passengers Association, told the Washington Post.

The congressional letter echoes rhetoric from Trump which has attempted to weaponize the government in service of his reelection.

Recently he called on Attorney General William Barr to "act fast" and investigate Biden based on widely debunked allegations that Trump and his allies have made about Biden's son, Hunter.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, a Trump appointee, has also recently been deployed to advance Trump's allegations about Hunter Biden, which has elicited criticism from intelligence experts.

Trump has also pushed for Hillary Clinton, Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) to be "locked up" or otherwise incarcerated for opposing him politically.

Similarly, Trump has been criticized for a plan to distribute drug discount cards to seniors ahead of the election. The announcement was made as reports have emerged that Trump's campaign has fallen far behind Biden's in fundraising and his standing is slipping with senior voters.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.