Press Releases

Jaime Herrera Beutler Votes to Move Increased Train Safety Standards Forward

Blocks effort to defund stronger federal rail standards in transportation funding bill

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Washington, DC, June 10, 2015 | comments
Yesterday, Jaime Herrera Beutler helped defeat an amendment that would have stopped the Department of Transportation’s implementation of strengthened rail safety standards, and stalled requirements for improved rail cars that transport crude oil.
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Yesterday, Jaime Herrera Beutler helped defeat an amendment that would have stopped the Department of Transportation’s implementation of strengthened rail safety standards, and stalled requirements for improved rail cars that transport crude oil. 

The amendment was offered by Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) during U.S. House debate over the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations (T-HUD) bill, and would have fully defunded DOT’s regulations for Rail Tank Car Standards.  Jaime helped defeat the measure by a vote of 136-286.

She also voted with a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House to pass the overall T-HUD bill last night.  

“In order for rail to work for Southwest Washington, we have to make sure regulations are keeping up with public safety needs,” said Jaime. “Fortunately, we were able to avoid a very serious setback to the much-needed rail standards in Congress last night – something I and many others have put a lot of time and effort into finalizing as quickly as possible.  Whatever commodity trains are carrying through this region, it’s a federal obligation to ensure that our citizens, waterways and communities are protected.”

Jaime has been consistently pressing DOT to implement these new regulations that include requiring thicker tank cars for oil trains, slower train speeds, and better emergency readiness. 

As a member of the Appropriations committee, Jaime helped write this transportation funding bill that provides $190,370,000 to the Federal Railroad Administration Safety and Operations account to fund critical rail safety efforts including at-grade train crossing improvements, oil by rail safety, positive train control, and other safety efforts.  Positive train control is a technology capable of slowing or stopping trains travelling too fast or behaving erratically in sensitive areas, and has been identified as a possible solution for preventing accidents like the one that occurred in Philadelphia last month.

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