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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 2372 - Federal Railroad Safety Improvement Act of 1985

July 31, 1985

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

(House Rules)
(Florio (D) New Jersey and 4 others)

The Administration is strongly opposed to H.R. 2372 unless it is amended to delete the provisions:

  • expanding rights of rail employees or their collective bargaining representatives to sue the Department of Transportation for failure to perform enforcement duties (section 7). This would (1) greatly increase the likelihood of litigation over matters that have been routinely settled outside the courts and (2) seriously disrupt Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) safety programs by diverting resources to litigation rather than important safety inspection activities.
  • requiring the issuance of rules within specified periods concerning (1) signal systems and devices at railroad highway grade crossings, — section 3, and (2) power brake and freight car inspections, — section 4. The imposition of these requirements is unnecessary, does not take into account ongoing FRA activities, and would result in the wasteful diversion of revenues and manpower. In addition, the imposition of these requirements represents unwarranted interference in the management of Departmental activities.
  • authorization of appropriations for fiscal years 1986 and 1987, respectively, of $3.1 million and $3.2 million for State rail safety grant programs (section 8(2)), which was not requested in the 1986 Budget.

With respect to the rulemaking required by section 2 of H.R. 2372 on the prevention of alcohol and drug abuse in railroad operations, the FRA issued a final rule on this subject on July 31, 1985.

Ronald Reagan, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 2372 - Federal Railroad Safety Improvement Act of 1985 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/327018