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Thu Oct 22, 2020, 07:13 AM

House Republicans push inquiry into Biden's use of Amtrak on trip through Ohio and Pennsylvania

Hat tip, Popehat

UntuckedHat Retweeted

GOP wants to "investigate" Biden for using federal resources for campaign purposes, instead of going after Trump who has literally done exactly that on live TV with zero consequences



Transportation

House Republicans push inquiry into Biden’s use of Amtrak on trip through Ohio and Pennsylvania

Biden campaign calls it a political stunt, saying Republicans ignore Trump’s ‘blatant abuses of taxpayer money and government resources.’

By Michael Laris, Luz Lazo and Ian Duncan
Oct. 21, 2020 at 4:15 p.m. EDT

During a campaign season in which President Trump has been criticized for using federal resources for his political benefit, House Republicans on Wednesday said they are leading an inquiry into Joe Biden’s use of an Amtrak train to campaign last month. ... Four GOP members, in a letter to the government-subsidized railroad, alleged that the Biden campaign may have received “special treatment” and had refused to say how much it paid to charter an Amtrak train through Ohio and Pennsylvania last month.

“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,” wrote Reps. Eric A. “Rick” Crawford (R-Ark.), Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Scott Perry (R-Pa.) and Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.). ... But in its disclosures to the Federal Election Commission, the Biden campaign reported spending $265,000 on the train charter. Amtrak says that the starting rate for a charter is $30,000, and that no discount was given. “We can’t provide the cost, but can share that we did make money, as we aim to do for any charter,” Amtrak said in a statement. ... A Biden campaign spokesman dismissed the allegations, saying that “anyone can charter a train with Amtrak.”

{snip}

Donald K. Sherman, a former government ethics and oversight official and deputy director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said the Trump administration has repeatedly tapped government resources to advance the president’s campaign, in violation of federal law. ... He cited a White House rally Oct. 10 that was billed as an official event; comments made by adviser Peter Navarro on Fox News seeking to undercut Biden; and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s public statements pushing for Trump’s reelection at an event discussing the Farmers to Families Food Box program.

Sherman said the concerns raised by the House members are “somewhat laughable in the face of blatant abuse by the Trump administration of the enormous resources at its disposal. …” ... “It’s hard to compare them, in part because Joe Biden doesn’t work for the government. It’s like apples and bicycles,” Sherman added. “This administration has bent and broken the rules limiting the administration’s use of official government resources and authority for campaigning on a near-daily basis leading up to the election.”

The White House, according to spokesman Judd Deere, “takes the Hatch Act very seriously and ensures its events, and the government employees participating in them, comply with the law,” referring to prohibitions on partisan political activity by federal workers.

{snip}

Anu Narayanswamy contributed to this report.

Michael Laris
Michael Laris writes about the transformation of the U.S. transportation system. He has covered government accountability and was a reporter in Beijing. Follow https://twitter.com/mikelaris

Luz Lazo
Luz Lazo is a transportation reporter at The Washington Post covering passenger and freight transportation, buses, taxis and ride-sharing services. She also writes about traffic, road infrastructure and air travel in the Washington region and beyond. She joined The Post in 2011. Follow https://twitter.com/luzcita

Ian Duncan
Ian Duncan is a reporter covering federal transportation agencies and the politics of transportation. He previously worked at the Baltimore Sun for seven years, covering city hall, the military and criminal justice. He was part of the Sun's team covering Freddie Gray's death in 2015 and then-Mayor Catherine Pugh's Healthy Holly books scandal. Follow https://twitter.com/iduncan

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Reply House Republicans push inquiry into Biden's use of Amtrak on trip through Ohio and Pennsylvania (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Oct 22 OP
Iliyah Oct 22 #1
Newest Reality Oct 22 #2
hadEnuf Oct 22 #3
soothsayer Oct 22 #4
TheCowsCameHome Oct 22 #5
mahatmakanejeeves Oct 22 #6
lagomorph777 Oct 22 #7
Harker Oct 22 #8

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Oct 22, 2020, 07:16 AM

1. And yet, shithole is using Airforce one . . .

paid by taxpayers for his campaign ventures.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Oct 22, 2020, 07:24 AM

2. They do it...

Over and over and over and over and over again.

It is like one could easily predict it these days and its mostly about optics for the members of the low-information electorate. "Hey, did you hear that...?"

They know many people will go with the superficial and rather than questioning the motivation and validity of their actions. Oh, and the hypocrisy that says, we get to do this, but you don't! They have been beating up us dems and corralling us in with that strategy for a long time now. They know that many people are surface skimmers and respond to "political gossip" as if it were fact.

What's the counter strategy?

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Oct 22, 2020, 07:27 AM

3. And there are probably emails too!!

So the fascists are now supporters of a "socialist" Amtrak because it made money from Biden's charter?

What a bunch of pathetic idiots.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Oct 22, 2020, 07:31 AM

4. Biden campaign response to Pa Congressmen calling for investigation into Biden's use of Amtrak for c


?s=21

Julia Terruso
@JuliaTerruso
·
Oct 21, 2020
Biden campaign response to Pa Congressmen calling for investigation into Biden's use of Amtrak for campaign. (Biden paid for the charter) "Anyone can charter a train with Amtrak. Last time we checked, no one can charter the White House South Lawn for a political convention" (1/2)

Julia Terruso
@JuliaTerruso
(2/2) "Instead of wasting time on political stunts, congressional Republicans should stop ignoring Donald Trump's blatant abuses of taxpayer money and government resources." - @thematthill

Letter GOP leaders sent to Amtrak: https://republicans-transportation.house.gov/uploadedfiles/10-20-20_amtrak_letter.pdf?utm_campaign=196649-345

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Oct 22, 2020, 07:31 AM

5. This is from the Onion, right?

Give. Me. A. Break.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Oct 22, 2020, 07:51 AM

6. Here's the thread at Trainorders: Congress Requesting Information about VP Biden's Campaign Train

Passenger Trains > Congress Requesting Information about VP Biden's Campaign Train

Date: 10/21/20 14:25
Congress Requesting Information about VP Biden's Campaign Train
Author: amtrakbill

While I'm sure this is all politics I wonder if there was a great deal Amtrak passed onto VP Biden and how the rates they charged differs from the rates they charge to Private Rail Cars or to tour companies who want to charter an entire train. The part about interferrring with transport of pandemic supplies is hogwash which shows the politics around this request.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Four Republican Congressmen have sent a letter to Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn questioning whether the September campaign train of Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden “redirected Amtrak’s scarce resources” and interfered with freight-train operation, and requesting — by the day before the Nov. 3 presidential election — details on what the train cost Amtrak to operate and what the Biden campaign paid Amtrak for the operation.The letter expresses concern 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” and that it may have been given operating preference over freight trains, which “have proven essential and resilient in transporting essential goods, including medical supplies and personal protective equipment “ during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other questions, it asks if passengers on the train purchased tickets, how many Amtrak employees were taken off their regular duties to staff the charter, and documents spelling out Amtrak policies for political charters and how the Biden train remained in compliance with those charters.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Oct 22, 2020, 08:17 AM

7. So Biden paid to rent a train. And that's a BAD thing? Versus Air Force One misappropriation?

They really want to go there?


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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Oct 22, 2020, 08:49 AM

8. As on practically every issue, republican'ts

have no credibility on Amtrak matters.

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