Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) today delivered the following remarks on the House floor in support of H.J.Res. 76, an interstate compact dealing with the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission.  H.J.Res 76 passed the House by a vote of 399-5.

Chairman Goodlatte: House Joint Resolution 76 grants Congress’ approval to the Metrorail Safety Commission Interstate Compact, an interstate compact entered into recently by the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia.

The safety record of the D.C.-area Metrorail system and other public transit systems in our country has been a matter of increasing concern for some time.  To better address public-transit safety needs, including Metrorail’s, Congress included in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act and the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act provisions strengthening the Federal Transit Administration’s safety oversight authority and related safety requirements for public transit systems.

Pursuant to these acts, and through the Metrorail Safety Commission Interstate Compact, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia have committed to establish a new, Washington Metrorail Safety Commission, to act as the state safety-oversight authority for the Metrorail system.  The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has informed the Judiciary Committee that the new compact’s provisions satisfy the requirements of the relevant federal statutes.

The jurisdictions completed in March 2017 their adoption by legislation of their respective compact instruments.  In the meanwhile, however, due to delays in the adoption of the instruments, the FTA invoked on February 9, 2017, authority to suspend the distribution of transit funds to the jurisdictions until the new safety commission is established.

By passage of House Joint Resolution 76, we can hasten the day by which Metrorail safety will be improved and funds obligated for other impacted transit systems in the compact jurisdictions can be made available for release.

I urge all of my colleagues to support this resolution and reserve the balance of my time.