In an email statement to Streetsblog, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood expressed concerns about the GOP plan to privatize the Northeast Corridor:
Chairman Mica and I share a strong interest in high speed rail, particularly in the Northeast Corridor. He should be commended for giving this topic the attention it deserves.
However, based upon our preliminary review, we have many questions about the Mica proposal’s feasibility. At present, we believe Amtrak is the entity most capable of taking the next steps to modernize rail service in the Northeast Corridor, which is why the administration has serious concerns about any proposal to privatize Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. The administration also has the responsibility to ensure that taxpayer investments are protected and well-managed.
With 50 million people in the corridor and another 20 million coming over the next generation, the Northeast Corridor can and should be one of the top high speed rail corridors in the world. I look forward to working with Chairman Mica to make that happen.