Headline RoundupMarch 2nd, 2023

Rail-Safety Bill Introduced By Bipartisan Coalition of Senators

AllSides Summary

A bipartisan group of senators led by Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced legislation to strengthen safety procedures and requirements for trains carrying hazardous materials.

Details: The Ohio senators championed the bill in response to the train crash in Ohio last month. A Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials derailed in East Palestine, Ohio and sparked fears of environmental damage and public health dangers. The National Transportation Safety Board cited an overheated wheel bearing as the cause of the derailment. The Association of American Railroads determined some of the proposed rule changes to be arbitrary. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has voiced support for the bill.

Key Quotes: “One of the things I’ve learned here,” Vance told Politico, “is that it’s very easy to disagree with people so long as you’re not an a**hole, and still get things done.” Vance added that he expected Washington “to be so partisan, that it would be harder to get anything done. In reality, so long as you’re not being a total jerk about it, I think it’s possible to do things.” Brown is quoted in the Wall Street Journal stating, “it shouldn’t take a massive railroad disaster for elected officials to put partisanship aside and work together for the people we serve—not corporations like Norfolk Southern.”

How The Media Covered It: The introduction of the bill was covered mildly. Across the spectrum, outlets highlighted the bipartisan efforts to advance the legislation.

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