House approves bills to prohibit purchase of Chinese rail cars, improve ADA compliance

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On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Sam Groves (R-MO), chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee, said the House had approved the Rail Rolling Stock Protection Act, a bill prohibiting transit funds from being used on rail cars manufactured in China, as well as the Think Differently Transportation Act, a bill improving Amtrak’s ADA compliance.

The Rolling Stock Protection Act (H.R. 3317), introduced by House Highways and Transit subcommittee Chairman Rick Crawford (R-AR), aims to ensure that all public transportation agencies are prohibited from using Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds to buy rolling stock from State-Owned Enterprises including Communication Chinese-controlled manufacturers. Previous legislation had prohibited public transportation agencies from using FTA funds to purchase rolling stock from SOEs, but exempted public transportation agencies that had contracts already in place. That legislation also provided lifetime exemptions for four transit agencies. The Rolling Stock Protection Act eliminated those exemptions.

“Despite our efforts, the Chinese Communist Party has still maintained a foothold in the rail market through contracts that have been grandfathered in,” Crawford said. “Taxpayer dollars should never go to countries that continue to lie, steal, and cheat in an attempt to push the U.S. out of the global market. We need to keep our critical infrastructure safe from the hands of the CCP,” Rep. Crawford said.”

The Think Differently Transportation Act (H.R. 6248), introduced by U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY) addresses Amtrak’s need to fully comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and requires Amtrak to report to Congress and the President on ADA compliance for Amtrak-served stations annually.

“Thirty years after the Americans with Disabilities Act passed, Amtrak still has work to do to become ADA compliant,” Molinaro said. “My bipartisan bill forces their hand to ensure all trains and stations are accessible for individuals with disabilities. I’m grateful to have this bill pass the House with immense bipartisan support, bringing us one step closer to an inclusive and accessible environment for those of all abilities.”