On to the Senate!

By 384-33 majority, House passes H.R. 1140; next stop is the Senate

By a 384-33 majority, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Railroad Retirement and Survivors' Act of 2001 on July 31.

It is now imperative that H.R. 1140's companion in the Senate, S. 697, be the first order of business when Senators return from their recess on September 4.

All BLE and GIA members are encouraged to contact their Senators while they are home during the recess.

Members can find the address and phone number of their Senators in the blue pages of their local phone book or via the Internet at: <www.senate.gov>.

As this issue of the Newsletter went to press, S. 697 had a veto-proof majority of 72 Senate co-sponsors. A list of the 28 Senators not supporting S. 697 is published in this issue.

In the House, H.R. 1140 survived a last-minute attack from right-wing conservatives who sought to derail the measure.

On July 25, House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle (R-IA) removed H.R. 1140 from the House calendar, stating he was opposed to the bill for budgetary reasons. A quick grassroots effort by BLE and GIA members, along with the rest of rail labor, forced Nussle to put the bill back on the calendar.

"The hard work and dedication of BLE and GIA legislative officers and members made this vote possible," said BLE International President Edward Dubroski. "Without the action of these brothers and sisters, this bill would never have seen the light of day.

"But now we call on them once again to make sure this bill gets through the Senate. We urge everyone to contact their Senators during the August recess."


2001 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers