Liberals Don't Wait to Blame Infrastructure for Amtrak Disaster

May 14, 2015

Democrats in Congress and liberal members of the press couldn't discuss Tuesday night's tragic Amtrak train derailment without immediately pushing for more spending on America's infrastructure, in some cases placing blame at the feet of Republican budget cuts.

Never mind that the cause of the accident appears to be the train was traveling more than 100 miles per hour around a curve with a speed limit of 50.

Democrats Sens. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio), Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.), Christopher Coons (D., Del.), Ben Cardin (D., Md.), Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), Rep. Peter Welch (D., Vt.) and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D., N.Y.) all decried a lack of infrastructure spending in various cable television appearances Wednesday.

Nelson, in a melodramatic interview with MSNBC's Thomas Roberts, asked, "[Will it take] more of these crashes and deaths to wake up the members of Congress who keep wanting to slim down the budgets going into infrastructure?"

It is not known how more money could have eliminated the human error in this case.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest slammed Republicans for voting in the Appropriations Committee to cut $250 million from Amtrak's budget, although CNN reported cut applied only to Amtrak's capital spending and would not affect funding for safety or operations. Former Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell  railed about infrastructure spending and Republican cuts all morning on MSNBC, where he is a contributor. He also proposed raising taxes as a measure to sustain this investment.

The press didn't wait long to dispense its opinion on the matter, either. Everyone on Morning Joe got in on the action, with Mike Barnicle called U.S. infrastructure spending "grossly inadequate," Joe Scarborough decrying it as an "absolute joke," and Willie Geist wondering what Washington could do "to fix our infrastructure problem." Roberts mourned our "aging infrastructure" and discussed how this incident is "raising new concerns about whether or not this could have been prevented through better infrastructure," and Andrea Mitchell scoffed at the Appropriations Committee's vote on Amtrak.

ABC's George Stephanopoulos and NBC's Savannah Guthrie also brought up potential infrastructure deficiencies in their questioning of National Transportation Safety Board chairwoman Deborah Hersman, and CBS anchor Norah O'Donnell mentioned "this also comes at a time that Amtrak itself has been pushing for hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money to upgrade the railway system."