Lott on Bases, Amtrak

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Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott said again Thursday that he thinks NAS Meridian and Columbus Air Force base are in good shape for the next round of base closures.

"You can never underestimate what might happen in another base closure round, but a part of what we've been doing for years, going back to Sen. Stennis and Sonny Montgomery, what Thad (Cochran) and me and Chip Pickering and Roger Wicker, we have continued to strive to upgrade our bases in Mississippi, to get infrastructure in there, quality of life programs, new aircraft," Lott said. "We're doing that. All you should read into it is, we continue to work to improve those very important bases in every way we can."

Lott called a threatened strike by Amtrak workers, designed to force Congress to increase funding for passenger rail, ill-advised.

"I'm an advocate of more funds for Amtrak," Lott said. "But this is a very dumb thing for the Amtrak union to consider. If they do that it could very well kill Amtrak because it could drive off a supporter like me. And if they don't have bipartisan support for Amtrak it is probably going to die."

Lott is also working on a book that will "shed some light" on his forced departure from the majority leader's position in the Senate. It's expected to be out in about a year.