Senate Democrats Struggling To Move Transit Safety Bill Past Coburn | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Senate Democrats Struggling To Move Transit Safety Bill Past Coburn

Play associated audio

By David Schultz

Senator Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, is blocking a bill that would impose new safety regulations on Metro and other transit systems.

Senate Democrats are trying to get Coburn to change his mind, but they're not having much success.

The Public Transportation Safety Act enjoys wide bipartisan support, but Coburn is single-handedly blocking it with a Senatorial procedure known as a "hold."

Coburn's office didn't return our calls, but he's previously said he's opposing the bill because it increases federal power over the states.

"We don't think this is an overreach. We don't believe that this is any kind of federal power grab," Peter Rogoff, President Obama's Federal Transit Administrator, says.

Rogoff says many state transit agencies aren't opposed to more regulation, "And in fact, many of the state agencies have been very clear to us that they would appreciate the guidance, they would appreciate the training, they would appreicate the standards - and they would appreciate the help.

Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, met with Coburn recently to convince him to relent.

But her spokesperson, Rachel MacKnight, says Coburn wouldn't budge.

MacKnight says Senate Democrats have drafted a letter to Coburn urging him to change his mind, and are looking for key Republicans to sign on.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, July 28

You can see two solo exhibits featuring work that speaks in metaphor.
NPR

Fast-Food Scandal Revives China's Food Safety Anxieties

An American-owned company that supplies meat to fast-food chains in China has pulled all its products made by a subsidiary. An expose revealed some of the products were mishandled and had expired.
NPR

When Did Companies Become People? Excavating The Legal Evolution

The Supreme Court has been granting more rights to corporations, including some regarded as those solely for individuals. But Nina Totenberg finds the company-to-person shift has a long history.
NPR

What It's Like To Own Your Very Own Harrier Jump Jet

The Harrier Jump Jet is known for vertical take-offs and landings. It also has an accident-prone track record, but that didn't dissuade one pilot from buying his dream plane.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.