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New Effort Slated to Sell Amtrak, Kill ICC

January 28, 1988|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Budget Director James C. Miller III said Wednesday that the Administration will try one final time to persuade Congress to sell Amtrak and to abolish the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Miller told a conference on transportation deregulation that President Reagan's $1.1-trillion budget for the next fiscal year would recycle both proposals, even though neither found much congressional support a year ago.

The budget official said that at least three sections of Amtrak could be operated profitably by the private sector--the Northeast and West Coast corridors and "a hub and spoke system out of Chicago."

Although private railroads are not exactly booming these days, the industry "is in better shape than it's been in three decades," Miller said. As to the ICC, the government's oldest regulatory body, Miller said: "The President thinks the ICC has lived its useful life and it's time now to rely on market forces."

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