In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Freshman GOPer Hopes That Transportation Project He Voted To Cut Gets Restored


"I'm not saying that we don't ever do Amtrak," Schilling said. "I'm saying that right now. I want to be clear because that was all part of the big picture when you looked at the pros and cons of what was in there, it was definitely the way to go... to vote for this."

This was a big deal in his district, so of course people want answers. And one of his answers is that he hopes his Senators -- including Democrat Dick Durbin, whom Schilling has criticized -- will restore the funds.

"I don't believe it's dead," he said. But when asked if he would fight for its survival if it returns, he said, "I'm going to take a good hard look at it."

Ironically, Schilling said two players from opposite sides of the aisle will make sure the rail comes across his desk again.

"Durbin and [Sen.] Mark Kirk aren't going to let a lot of this stuff flow through, and then it's going to come back and then we break it down on an individual basis," he said. "You know, that's just how the process works."

Having abandoned highly popular, perennially bipartisan infrastructure initiatives, a lot of Republicans are facing similar conundrums.

About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at