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Biden pushes for rail security

(Gannett News Service circulated the following article by Ledyard King on October 23.)

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Joe Biden wants President Bush to intervene on behalf of a stalled bipartisan bill authorizing $1.1 billion for passenger and freight rail security.

The Senate passed the legislation, co-sponsored by Biden and Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., earlier this month. But Biden is concerned that nothing will happen unless the president nudges the House.

Biden on Friday called for increased security on subways, Amtrak trains carrying passengers between cities and freight trains carrying hazardous materials.

Since the spring, the Transportation Security Administration has tested systems designed to detect explosives on passengers and baggage in select rail stations. But unlike at airports, train passengers don't go through metal detectors or have bags X-rayed.

Biden questioned White House priorities for spending billions on a missile defense system while practically ignoring rail security.

Monday, October 25, 2004

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