April 20, 2015

Unions advancing new two-person train crew bill

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Continuing a cooperative effort to promote safety in the railroad industry, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers International Association (SMART) have jointly announced that legislation requiring at least two crew members on all freight trains in the [...]

Obama vetoes GOP bill on union elections

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President Obama March 31 vetoed a Republican effort to overturn controversial union voting rules. Congress passed a resolution of disapproval this month on a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling that sped up union elections. Read the complete story at The Hill.

Foxx unveils Obama’s infrastructure investment plan

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx Feb. 2 announced President Obama’s $94.7 billion Fiscal Year 2016 Budget for the U.S. Department of Transportation. The proposal makes critical investments in infrastructure needed to promote long-term economic growth, enhance safety and efficiency, and support jobs for the 21st century. Speaking at a town hall at Google headquarters in [...]

T&I Committee unveils passenger-rail reform bill

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House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and other committee leaders yesterday introduced the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015 (PRRIA), which would address infrastructure needs, transparency and other issues for Amtrak. “By compelling Amtrak to operate more like a true business, cutting red tape, and opening the door to more [...]

Committee holds hearing on freight rail challenges

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U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today held his second hearing as chairman entitled, “Freight Rail Transportation: Enhancing Safety, Efficiency, and Commerce.” The hearing focused on challenges facing our nation’s freight rail network created by higher demand, pending and proposed rules and regulations, and infrastructure needs. [...]

Shuster announces T&I committee leaders

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House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster today announced U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) will chair the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials for the 114th Congress. Shuster (R-Pa.) announced Denham’s appointment along with five other subcommittee chairman, and U.S. Rep. John Duncan’s (R-Tenn.) appointment as the full committee’s vice chairman. Read the [...]

Obama to renominate Elliott for STB

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President Barack Obama announced his intent Nov. 12 to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts: Daniel Elliott III – member, Surface Transportation Board, and upon appointment to be designated chairman; Lauren McFerran – member, National Labor Relations Board. “I am confident that these experienced and hardworking individuals will help us tackle the important [...]

Szabo stepping down as head of FRA

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After nearly six years serving as chief of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration, Joe Szabo is stepping down in January. In a statement to FRA staff, Szabo said, “I will head home to accept a position as a senior fellow for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. In my new capacity, I’ll [...]

House bill would cut Amtrak funding

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The House is proposing a 40 percent funding cut for new Amtrak construction in a new passenger rail bill that was unveiled on Thursday by the chamber’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Amtrak has received about $1 billion per year from the federal government since its inception in 1971. Read the complete story at The Hill.

Obama cracks down on labor breaches by contractors

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an election-year rebuttal to Republicans, President Barack Obama will sign an executive order Thursday requiring federal contractors to give their workers more rights in labor disputes. The move comes one day after House GOP lawmakers voted to sue Obama for allegedly misusing presidential powers. Under the order, companies seeking large federal [...]