Senate and House Committees on Rail Restore Service

Senate and House Committees on Rail Restore Service

Leaders in Congress Say They Will Act to Prevent Rail Strike – Again

Leaders in two Senate committees said Wednesday that they would push for legislation to ensure that rail service across America will be restored by the end of the year.

While the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) and the Senate Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John M. Durbin (D-Ill.) offered similar pledges to act to restore rail service, they offered different ideas on how they would go about the matter.

At a Washington news conference, McCain said that he would “move quickly” to get rail service back in place by Thanksgiving.

“Every day’s a gift,” McCain said. “I feel pretty good about the progress we’ve made.”

It was just the latest sign that Congress is continuing to work to ensure that rail service across the nation can be restored.

In a statement released immediately following McCain’s news conference, Durbin said that Congress must act swiftly on a series of measures to ensure a speedy restoration of rail service.

“I’m not going to stand by and allow our infrastructure to disappear,” Durbin said. “When we look out at our country, we can see that it is in more trouble than ever.”

McCain, and Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) are among several senators seeking to use the federal courts to ensure that a massive system of commuter rail links across America’s midsection are restored by the end of the year.

Earlier this year, Amtrak reported that just 50 percent of intercity rail service was operating as of Jan. 1, the most recent date for which data is available.

The failure of Amtrak to meet service expectations has caused widespread alarm from lawmakers throughout the country, who are urging Amtrak to do its part to restore a sense of normalcy to the nation’s rail system.

“We’ve got to come together as a nation to fix this. We’ve got to get it fixed,” McCain said, adding that he could not yet say when service would return to all

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