U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is praising the work of the Amtrak Board of Directors' chairman as he works for funding the federally subsidized rail line.

The Illinois Democrat met Wednesday with Thomas Carper. The former Macomb mayor has been re-nominated for the board by President Barack Obama.

Durbin says he and Carper discussed a proposed budget of nearly $1.5 billion for Amtrak in the fiscal year that begins in October. Durbin says that amount is in legislation the Senate is debating.

He says the House Appropriations Committee approved a bill last month that would reduce by 34 percent the funds Amtrak uses for safety, inspections and maintenance, and to increase the rail system's capacity.

Durbin first recommended Carper for the board in 2007 and President George W. Bush appointed him.

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