It turns out that the fatal crash of an Amtrak train from Washington, DC, to New York City came just the night before the House voted to make huge cuts to its funding.
Politico reports that the House Appropriations Committee voted Wednesday 30-21 for a bill that cut about $260 million from Amtrak's typical $1.4 billion share. The vote was along party lines, and Democratic amendments that would have restored or increased the funding failed.
The death toll rose to seven Wednesday, and as the National Transportation Safety Board continued its investigation of the crash site, the cuts were closely scrutinized.
"While we don't know the cause of this accident, we do know that starving rail of funding will not enable safer train travel," said Rep. Nita Lowey of New York.