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Washington - The Amtrak derailment that killed six and injured dozens more was a shock that hit home, and serves as an example of why Congress needs to provide more funding for basic infrastructure, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.
"I want to say for New Yorkers this one hits home because this train line from Washington through Philadelphia to New York City, so many people depend on it," he said on "Morning Joe" on MSNBC.
"So I think it's a shock to us all that an accident like this could happen right in the middle of Philadelphia. Obviously dozens and dozens are injured," he said. "We are still waiting to hear the identities [of those who died in the wreck] and we obviously fear there may be some New Yorkers among them."
De Blasio, in Washington to launch his "progressive agenda" Tuesday and to lobby Congress Tuesday for more spending to fix basic structures such as bridges, highway ramps and train tracks, said, "This one's a wake-up call."
Previewing his message at a 1 p.m. news conference Wednesday with Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, de Blasio noted it costs an estimated $100 million every day the Northeastern corridor for Amtrak is shut down. He also said the United States spends just 1.7 percent of its gross domestic product on infrastructure, but Europe spends 5 percent and China 9 percent of theirs.
"This is part of what is motivating Mayor Cornett and I and a big coalition to go to Capitol Hill today and say we've got to get serious about actually investing in infrastructure if we want to be a strong and competitive country in the future," de Blasio said.
Asked about what needs exist, Cornett, a Republican mayor in a Republican state, said, "Let's start with Amtrak. I don't think there is anything that is a better example of Congress' unwillingness to invest in something that American people want."