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House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Approves DeFazio bills to Improve Transportation Safety

Nov 20, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC—The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure today approved several bills authored by Chair Rep. Peter DeFazio that will make transportation infrastructure safer for Americans. The legislation will next go before the full House of Representatives for consideration. Brief summaries of the bills approved today are below.

H.R. 5139, Stop Sexual Assault and Harassment in Transportation Act, legislation to help track and prevent sexual assault and harassment from occurring in different modes of transportation. This legislation aims to address incidents of sexual assault and harassment in multiple modes of transportation by requiring certain transportation carriers, including passenger airlines, commuter and intercity passenger railroads, transit agencies, operators of cruise ships, certain types of bus companies, and ridesharing companies to establish formal policies, training, and reporting structures regarding sexual assault and harassment. It also requires the Department of Transportation (DOT) to collect information on the number of sexual assault or harassment incidents reported by these entities and make this information publicly available. More here.

H.R.5120, SAFER Pipelines Act of 2019, comprehensive pipeline safety legislation which takes numerous steps to improve pipeline safety by holding pipeline operators accountable for reckless actions and address climate change by reducing emissions and preventing pipeline leaks. The DeFazio-Pallone bill also reinstates a 2016 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) final rule that set limitations on methane emissions across the natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline sector. Traditionally this authorization bill focuses on safety alone, for the first time it will meaningfully address climate. More here.

H.R. 5119, Safe Aircraft Maintenance Standards Act, legislation that would establish one standard of safety regardless of where an aircraft is maintained. The bill strengthens the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) oversight of repair stations located outside the United States, particularly at a time when airlines are increasingly relying on outsourced maintenance work. More here.

H.R. 5047, GSA Lease Transparency Act of 2019, legislation that would require the General Services Administration (GSA) to conduct audits of Federal properties that have been leased to private parties. Under the bill the first audit would be required within 90 days of the law’s enactment; then after that, on an annual basis. The legislation would address the GSA’s failure thus far to adequately track whether the Federal government is receiving all rent, revenues, and anything of value from tenants, including the Trump Organization, which has a 60-year lease with the Federally-owned Old Post Office building in downtown Washington, D.C., redeveloped as the Trump International Hotel. Importantly, the bill also requires GSA to include terms in these leases granting GSA and the GSA Inspector General audit authority. More here.