UPDATE 1-U.S. House Speaker Boehner: Amtrak crash, funding cuts not linked
(Adds Boehner comments, details on funding debate)
By David Lawder
WASHINGTON May 14 (Reuters) - The Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia revived concerns on Thursday about the crumbling infrastructure in the United States and Washington's failure to address the problem, with U.S. House Speaker John Boehner lashing out at Democrats who linked the two.
Asked at a news conference about suggestions by some Democrats that Amtrak funding cuts were partly to blame for the train crash on Tuesday, Boehner said, "Are you really going to ask such a stupid question?"
He said Democrats were mistaken in trying to promote the idea the crash was "all about funding." He said the passenger service's safety programs were adequately funded.
"Obviously, it's not about funding," said the Republican leader.
"The train was going twice the speed limit. Adequate funds were there, no funding has been cut from rail safety and the House passed a bill earlier this spring to reauthorize Amtrak and authorize a lot of these programs."
The Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved a $262 million cut in Amtrak's capital investment programs as part of a $54 billion spending bill for transportation and housing programs.
Democrats seized on the crash that killed eight passengers and injured 200 others to press for more infrastructure funding. Continuación...