The Senate’s Railway Safety Act won’t improve rail safety

In Politics by Michael Rae

On May 10, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation passed the Railway Safety Act of 2023 (S. 576) out of committee on a largely party-line vote. Democrats were unanimously in favor, but two Republicans on the committee—the original bill sponsor, Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) and Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-MO)—also voted aye. Former President Donald Trump also endorsed the bill. 

The Railway Safety Act is ostensibly in response to a February freight train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, that has received significant public attention, in part, because the train was carrying hazardous materials that spilled and burned.

Unfortunately, the