Joe Biden loves Amtrak. Probably a whole lot more than he loves any other part of the government. He’s been its beneficiary for so long that there’s a Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Railroad Station in, where else, Delaware. And Biden’s people keep insisting that he’s called Amtrak Joe.
Amtrak Joe has managed to wreck Amtrak. This is the first time Amtrak has had a wreck with outside help.
Amtrak expects it won’t have enough employees to operate all its trains next month when it plans to enforce Covid-19 vaccine requirements.
As Amtrak prepares to comply with the federal vaccine mandate, it will likely need to temporarily reduce frequency, particularly on its long-distance services, Stephen J. Gardner, president of Amtrak, said in written testimony for a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing. About 94% of the rail company’s workers have been fully vaccinated as of this week.
Amtrak plans to announce service reductions by next week and re-book customers as needed, Gardner said in the testimony. The full schedule should be restored by March “or as soon as we have qualified employees available,” he told the committee.
Maybe 2028. The Acela though will be a priority so it’ll be fine.
“Amtrak just got about $60 billion in new funding, but now President Biden’s vaccine mandates are spurring new worker shortages and service cuts, thwarting recovery from historic Amtrak losses last year,” Committee ranking member Sam Graves (R-Mo.) said on Twitter, referring to the money in the recently enacted infrastructure law (Public Law 117-58). “Taxpayers will be paying more money for less service.”
Isn’t that the way it always goes. But I have a sneaking suspicion that Biden donors will make out okay. Maybe not ‘Angelo Negri‘.
Biden on Wednesday repeated for the sixth time this year what he called a “true story” about an encounter with an Amtrak conductor named Angelo Negri — despite the story being declared “false” by fact-checkers.
Biden said it happened when he visited his sick mother, who died in January 2010, less than one year after he became vice president. On at least three other occasions, Biden said it happened much later in his second term.
“And I was getting on the train to go home,” Biden continued. “I was going home to see my mom who was sick. And one of the conductors I’ve known for years walked up and grins, he said, ‘Joey baby,’ grabbed my cheek. Not a joke. And I thought that he was going to get shot. True story.”
Negri retired from Amtrak in 1993, meaning he didn’t work there when Biden was vice president, and he died in May 2014, making some versions of the story impossible.
And if he were alive, he wouldn’t be able to come in to work anyway.