“But what about the ‘job creators?'”
Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and MAGAt JD Vance, along with Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey and John Fetterman, introduced The Railway Safety Act of 2023 in the wake of the Trump Train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. The bill would create new safety requirements for trains carrying hazardous materials, require more frequent use of sensors that detect overheated wheel bearings, increase inspections of rail cars, raise fines for safety violations, and mandate at least a two-person crew per train. But the conservative advocacy group, FreedomWorks, has advised lawmakers to oppose the bill and focus on fixing East Palestine instead.
In a letter to lawmakers on Monday, the group claims the bill would create “gross inefficiencies” for businesses and give the Department of Transportation “unimaginable authority.”
“Introduced following the horrible accident in East Palestine, Ohio, the legislation offers a slew of significant new regulations that would do little to improve safety while creating gross inefficiencies for thousands of businesses,”
“The provisions within the bill are much like the list of recommendations offered by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and would grant this struggling agency unimaginable authority,” the group added.
The bill had already faced opposition by members of the GQP. Senator Thune suggested that it was too soon to take action and that he was “uncomfortable” giving “much more power” to the Department of Transportation and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
“We’ll take a look at what’s being proposed, but an immediate quick response heavy on regulation needs to be thoughtful and targeted,” Thune told The Hill. “Let’s define the problem. Let’s figure out what the solutions are and if there are things we need to fix, we’ll fix them.”