Rendell Attacks Congressional “SOBs” in Wake of Amtrak Derailment

"These SOBs didn’t even have the decency to table the vote.”

Ed Rendell has spent a good chunk of his post-governor years trying to build a case for increased infrastructure spending across the United States, so it’s no surprise that he was everywhere on Wednesday, making the case that Tuesday night’s Amtrak derailment proves his point.

He was on MSNBC, criticizing Congress for voting to cut Amtrak’s budget while the search-and-rescue effort was still active:

“Those SOBs, and that’s all I can call them, these SOBs didn’t even have the decency to table the vote,” Rendell told host Chris Hayes, who quickly responded by playing devil’s advocate.

“The policy is good, or it’s bad, OK?” Hayes asked. “So if I’m a Republican and I say, ‘Look, we’ve got these budget caps, I don’t think Amtrak should be getting this money, this horrible thing that happened doesn’t change the way I’m gonna vote.’”

Rendell, a Democrat, responded by calling the argument of budget caps “a baloney excuse,” saying lawmakers often break budget limits when it comes to defense spending.

“Their policy is terrible,” Rendell said of the GOP. “This country used to have the world’s best infrastructure.”

He was in Pittsburgh:

“What will it take for this nation to invest in its infrastructure? How many bridge collapses, how many train wrecks, how many pipelines bursting? What will it take before we do what we should be doing?” he said.

To fund all the needed repairs, Rendell says it’s time to raise the federal gas tax which Congress has frozen at 18.4 cents a gallon for over 20 years.

“What’s wrong with those guys?” declared Rendell. “What’s wrong? If they don’t think government should do anything, then don’t run for office. Stay home.”

And he was in no mood to take Mayor Nutter’s advice to hold off on the policy questions for now.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell blasted Congress on Wednesday for cutting funding to Amtrak, just hours after a train derailed in Philadelphia, killing seven people.

“Normally after a tragedy, everyone says, ‘Oh, we better do something about our infrastructure,’ and for six weeks, everyone is up in arms,” Rendell said in Pittsburgh. “They didn’t even wait six weeks. They voted down funding for Amtrak today. They voted down transportation funding for the country today.”