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Senators Blumenthal and Markey: Republican Highway Bill Puts Auto and Rail Safety Reforms In Reverse

Lawmakers will bring fight for increased safety, transparency to Senate floor

(Washington, DC) U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, issued the following statement after the Committee’s markup of the surface transportation bill this afternoon:

This bill is an assault on critical safety protections and regulations – a safety rollback that takes a massive step in the wrong direction. It is disheartening and disappointing that the majority is unwilling to ensure safety regulators have the resources they need to address existing, unacceptable, inadequacies – recalling deadly, defective auto parts, or implementing critical, life-saving tools on trains should not be a question.

We cannot continue to allow companies to conceal information or delay installing technology – reprehensible actions that have cost lives and will continue to do so if not corrected. Unfortunately, it is clear that this legislation will fail to make critical improvements and instead increasingly put the lives of the millions of Americans who use our surface transportation system at risk.

After listening to gut-wrenching, tragic testimony from victims and families of victims that have suffered, it is clear the loopholes and pitfalls in safety rules need to be changed to stop more deaths and injuries from occurring. It is shameful that the Committee failed to do so today.