One of the main elements of President Donald Trump’s campaign agenda was to improve infrastructure. But there has been one big thing holding up achieving some of those goals. The Democrats, led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have blocked dozens of Trump’s executive branch nominees.
And the Democrats’ tactic of resisting everything Trump, even if it makes no sense, may be putting people’s lives in danger.
Deputy Secretary of Transportation Jeff Rosen is very upset with the failure to confirm the nomination of Ronald Batory to be the head of the Federal Railway Administration and the top railroad safety regulator. He’s worked in the railroad system for 40 years.
Why would anyone hold up this man’s nomination?
Rosen wanted Chuck Schumer to explain it to him.
Rosen sent a letter to Schumer on Jan. 31 following the crash of an Amtrak train in Virginia that was carrying congressional Republicans to their annual retreat in West Virginia. The train had struck a garbage truck on the tracks, killing the driver and injuring some of the train passengers.
According to USA Today, that crash was but one of several high-profile Amtrak train crashes or derailments over the past few years, the most recent of which occurred Feb. 4 in South Carolina when an Amtrak train was accidentally shifted to a side rail and slammed into a parked CSX freight train, killing the conductor and engineer.
Other prominent accidents included the Dec. 18, 2017 derailment in DuPont, Washington, which killed three and injured dozens more, as well as two separate incidents in Philadelphia in 2015 and 2016 that killed a total of 10 people and injured hundreds more.
And the accidents are rising. But Schumer is still stalling Batory’s approval for no explainable reason.
“At that time, (Republican South Dakota) Sen. (John) Thune, who chairs the Commerce committee, said months have gone by and now we’re dealing with the aftermath of this tragedy, it’s time to confirm Ron Batory, and he asked for unanimous consent,” recalled Rosen, in reference to remarks in the Senate following the Washington state derailment, according to The Daily Caller.
“Senator Schumer stood up and just said ‘I object’ and then he walked away and didn’t elaborate,” Rosen continued. “So he didn’t say when he objected what the grounds were. It’s inexplicable that after those months and after the tragedy he was unwilling to put safety first, but he didn’t give the rationale.”
Rosen said Schumer still hasn’t responded to him or given any reason for not approving Batory. There was some suggestion that Schumer was holding the nomination up to get a rail project for New York.
Rosen explained that he told Schumer it was in the national interest and the interests of the safety of Americans and Schumer’s constituents in New York, but that didn’t seem to move him.
Rosen argued that the blocking Batory’s confirmation was preventing an adequate appraisal of safety issues.
And Batory isn’t the only one. There are 63 other nominees being filibustered by the minority. Rosen said this was unheard of, and called it “inexplicable and irresponsible.”
Holding these people up just for the sake of resisting is wrong and. now may be costing lives.
Schumer needs to be held to account and allow the nominations to go through.
[Note: This post was written by Nick Arama]