Sen. J.D. Vance’s (R-OH) bipartisan rail safety legislation — introduced in the aftermath of the devastating train derailment and “controlled” chemical burn in East Palestine, Ohio — picked up a significant endorsement on Monday from the former president.
Former President Donald Trump, who visited East Palestine after the incident, praised the Railway Safety Act of 2023 on Monday via his Truth Social account while knocking President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for their lack of urgency.
“JD Vance has been working hard in the Senate to make sure nothing like this EVER happens again, and that’s why it’s so important for Congress to pass his Railway Safety Act,” Trump said in a statement supporting the legislation. “JD’s terrific bill has my Complete and Total Endorsement!!!”
“Crooked Joe Biden has still not visited the incredible Patriots of East Palestine, and Mayor Pete couldn’t get out of there fast enough. But that’s ok — our movement will be their voice, and we will NEVER forget them,” the former president added.
Fantastic to have President Trump support our railway safety bill. He’s a great friend to the people of East Palestine. If we want to prevent the next East Palestine, it’s time to ignore the chamber of commerce lobby and pass this legislation. pic.twitter.com/HclBwqOz81
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) May 8, 2023
Vance responded by saying, “Fantastic to have President Trump support our railway safety bill.”
“He’s a great friend to the people of East Palestine. If we want to prevent the next East Palestine, it’s time to ignore the chamber of commerce lobby and pass this legislation,” the Buckeye State senator added.
Vance’s legislation was initially introduced in a bipartisan effort with Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), John Fetterman (D-PA), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
Vance introduced the legislation after a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine in early 2023. The train carrying dangerous chemicals was left spewing into the community’s environment. Cleanup crews ignited five train cars to get rid of toxic chemicals in a controlled environment.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources calculated that more than 43,000 fish and other aquatic animals were killed as a result. A recent study found that high dioxin levels in soil in East Palestine may pose a cancer risk in the area. The state’s attorney general has since filed suit against Norfolk Southern.
If passed, the legislation will significantly invest in future safety improvements. It would also enhance safety procedures for trains carrying hazardous materials, minimize the risk of wheel bearing failures, require “well-trained” two-person crews aboard every train, make rail carriers face major fines for any “wrongdoing,” and help support communities impacted by rail disasters.
Immediately after the derailment, Ohio’s politicians — such as Vance — sprang into action. Additionally, Trump visited the town to deliver truckloads of bottled water, in addition to buying food for the police and fire departments. However, President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg were nowhere to be found. Then, just one day after Trump’s visit, Buttigieg finally visited.
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.