Senate Offers Condolences To Victims Of Train Accidents
‘I want to begin this afternoon by offering condolences to the family and friends of Christopher Foley of Louisa County, Virginia. Mr. Foley was killed last Wednesday when his truck collided with an Amtrak train carrying many of my fellow lawmakers to a conference in West Virginia. He was just twenty-eight years old… [I]n the few days since last week’s tragedy, yet another fatal train crash has already taken place. Two lives were lost yesterday, when a passenger train and a freight train collide
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the train crashes that took place this past week in Virginia and South Carolina, and the need for the senate to confirm an Administrator for the Federal Railroad Administration:
“I want to begin this afternoon by offering condolences to the family and friends of Christopher Foley of Louisa County, Virginia. Mr. Foley was killed last Wednesday when his truck collided with an Amtrak train carrying many of my fellow lawmakers to a conference in West Virginia. He was just twenty-eight years old. He leaves behind a fiancee, Adriana, and Rylan, their one-year-old son.
“Our thoughts are with them especially, along with all of Christopher’s family, his community, and his colleagues at Time Disposal. They -- and all those who were injured in the accident -- are in our prayers. Our heartfelt thanks are with the first responders who rushed to the scene. It is too easy to take for granted that our brave law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency personnel will be there for us on our worst days -- forgetting that, for them, heroism and service are everyday realities.
“And I would like to recognize some of our own colleagues who immediately sprang into action to assist the wounded. Senator Cassidy and Congressmen Wenstrup, Burgess, Roe, and Bucshon are all doctors by training. So are Senator Cassidy’s wife Laura and Congressman Bucshon’s wife Kathryn.
“All of them sprang into action and rushed to aid the victims alongside our attending physician, Dr. Brian Monahan. Several others, including Senator Flake, also hurried to help. I thank all of them for their efforts when every moment counted. I am proud to call them colleagues and friends.
“Now, on a related matter, in the few days since last week’s tragedy, yet another fatal train crash has already taken place. Two lives were lost yesterday, when a passenger train and a freight train collided in South Carolina.
“And last December, three were killed and scores were injured near Seattle when a passenger train jumped its tracks and crashed onto a busy highway. This worrying spate of accidents offers a sobering reminder that partisan obstruction has kept the Federal Railroad Administration, the top rail regulator, without an Administrator.
“The president’s nominee, Ronald Batory, has more than 40 years of rail experience. I know of no questions about his qualifications. He was reported out of committee by voice vote on August 2nd -- meaning this important safety regulator has now been sitting on the Calendar for six months. My Democratic colleagues are holding his nomination over a parochial issue, unrelated to rail safety.
“That needs to come to an end. The FRA Administrator is the nation’s top rail safety regulator. There’s an urgent need, and a highly qualified candidate. I hope my colleagues across the aisle will put a stop to their partisan games on this front. We can and should confirm Mr. Batory today.”
Related Issues: Tributes, Nominations