On. Dec. 21, U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.Dak.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, took to the Senate floor to voice his support and call on his colleagues for unanimous consent to confirm the nomination of Ronald Batory as Federal Railroad Administrator. Once again, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) played the spoiler.
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
The U.S. railroad industry has been scrambling since 2008 to meet the requirements of an unfunded federal government mandate—namely, having Positive Train Control installed and fully operational by Dec. 31, 2015 on 60,000 miles of track where hazmat and passenger trains operate. Parallel to the PTC initiative has been a battle waged on Capitol Hill to extend the end-of-the-year deadline. That effort may be paying off, and the railroads may one day be grateful that they have a Thune on their side.