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                                                       Calendar No. 643
115th Congress        }                       {                Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session           }                       {                 115-356
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     
                                                                                                                                                              


               PASSENGER RAIL CREW PROTECTION PARITY ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                S. 2861
                                
                                
                                
                                

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]








               November 14, 2018.--Ordered to be printed
                                   ______

                    U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

89-010                       WASHINGTON : 2018







               
       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                     one hundred fifteenth congress
                             second session

                   JOHN THUNE, South Dakota, Chairman
ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi         BILL NELSON, Florida
ROY BLUNT, Missouri                  MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
TED CRUZ, Texas                      AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
DEB FISCHER, Nebraska                RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
JERRY MORAN, Kansas                  BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska                 EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
DEAN HELLER, Nevada                  TOM UDALL, New Mexico
JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma            GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
MIKE LEE, Utah                       TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               TAMMY DUCKWORTH, Illinois
SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO, West Virginia  MARGARET WOOD HASSAN, New Hampshire

CORY GARDNER, Colorado               CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO, Nevada
TODD C. YOUNG, Indiana               JON TESTER, Montana
                       Nick Rossi, Staff Director
                 Adrian Arnakis, Deputy Staff Director
                    Jason Van Beek, General Counsel
                 Kim Lipsky, Democratic Staff Director
           Christopher Day, Democratic Deputy Staff Director
           
           
           
           
                                                   Calendar No. 643
115th Congress        }                       {               Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session           }                       {              115-356

======================================================================



 
               PASSENGER RAIL CREW PROTECTION PARITY ACT

                                _______
                                

               November 14, 2018.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Thune, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2861]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 2861) to prosecute, as a 
Federal crime, the assault or intimidation of a passenger train 
crew member to the same extent as such actions against aircraft 
crew members are prosecuted, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon with an amendment (in the nature of a 
substitute) and recommends that the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of S. 2861 is to provide Federal protections to 
certain rail passenger crew members against assault to improve 
public safety and discourage violence aboard intercity rail 
passenger transportation trains. The bill is further intended 
to encourage such carriers to develop and implement assault 
prevention and response training programs and to direct the 
Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review the prevalence 
of assaults occurring against commuter train crew members.

                          Background and Needs

    Amtrak is the predominant rail passenger carrier providing 
intercity rail passenger transportation in the United States. 
Amtrak operates more than 21,400 route miles, serving over 500 
stations in 46 States.\1\ In fiscal year 2017, Amtrak completed 
31.7 million passenger trips with 12 million riders on its 
Northeast Corridor, 15 million riders on its State-supported 
routes, and 4.6 million riders on its long-distance routes.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\See Amtrak National Facts (https://www.amtrak.com/national-
facts); Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Amtrak Ridership (May 20, 
2017) (https://www.bts.gov/archive/publications/
multimodal_transportation_indicators/october_2005/
rail_amtrak_ridership).
    \2\Amtrak Sets Ridership, Revenue and Earnings Records (Nov. 16, 
2017) (https://media.amtrak.com/2017/11/amtrak-sets-ridership-revenue-
and-earnings-records/).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    From 2015 to 2017, according to internal data, Amtrak 
recorded 73 assaults to crew members aboard its trains with 49 
of the reported assaults occurring in the Western Service 
region and 24 assaults in the Northeastern Corridor and Eastern 
Service region. 
S. 2861 would provide that certain assaults be charged under 
Federal law, as opposed to being adjudicated under the laws of 
the local jurisdiction where they are committed. According to 
Amtrak and rail labor groups, the application of Federal 
criminal law to Amtrak assaults would improve public safety and 
discourage violence aboard Amtrak passenger trains by serving 
as a deterrent.
    Similar Federal protections currently are provided to 
airline crew members. Under section 46504 of title 49, United 
States Code, a person on an aircraft in the special aircraft 
jurisdiction of the United States who assaults or intimidates a 
flight crew member, thereby interfering with the performance of 
the crew member's duties or lessening the ability of the member 
to perform those duties, or attempts or conspires to do such an 
act, may be fined or imprisoned for up to 20 years, or both. If 
a dangerous weapon is used in such an assault or intimidation, 
the individual may be imprisoned for life.
    Under S. 2861, only an assault that interferes with the 
performance of a crew member's duties or lessens the crew 
member's ability to perform such duties, or attempts or 
conspires to commit such an assault, would be subject to 
Federal penalties. Among other differences from the airline 
crew provision, S. 2861 also would provide shorter terms for 
imprisonment to account for differing characteristics and 
levels of risk present in the passenger rail industry as 
compared to aviation.

                         Summary of Provisions

    If enacted, S. 2861 would do the following:
     Make it unlawful for any person, while onboard a 
            passenger train providing intercity rail passenger 
            transportation in operation, or on a platform 
            serving such a train, to: (1) assault a crew member 
            and thereby interfere with the performance of the 
            duties of the crew member or lessen the ability of 
            a crew member to perform those duties; or (2) 
            attempt or conspire to perform such an act.
     Direct GAO to review the number of assaults on 
            rail crew members operating or assisting with 
            commuter rail passenger transportation (as defined 
            in section 24102 of title 49, United States Code) 
            at each of the 10 largest commuter rail carriers 
            (as determined by annual ridership) and submit a 
            report to Congress with any recommendations from 
            its findings.

                          Legislative History

    S. 2861 was introduced on May 16, 2018, by Senator 
Duckworth (for herself and Senator Hoeven) and was referred to 
the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the 
Senate. On July 27, 2018, Senator Duckworth filed a substitute 
amendment to the bill. On August 1, 2018, the Committee met in 
an open Executive Session and by voice vote ordered S. 2861 to 
be reported favorably with an amendment (in the nature of a 
substitute).

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

S. 2861--Passenger Rail Crew Protection Parity Act

    S. 2861 would establish a new federal crime addressing the 
assault of certain crew members on passenger trains. As a 
result, the government might be able to pursue cases that it 
otherwise would not be able to prosecute. CBO expects that the 
bill would apply to fewer than 10 cases a year, however, so any 
increase in spending for law enforcement, court proceedings, or 
prison operations would not be significant. Any such spending 
would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
    Because people prosecuted and convicted under S. 2861 could 
be subject to criminal fines, the federal government might 
collect additional amounts under the bill. Criminal fines are 
recorded as revenues, deposited in the Crime Victims Fund, and 
later spent without further appropriation. CBO expects that any 
additional revenues and associated direct spending would not be 
significant because the bill would probably affect fewer than 
10 cases per year.
    Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting S. 2861 
would affect direct spending and revenues.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 2861 would not significantly 
increase net direct spending and would not increase on-budget 
deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods 
beginning in 2029.
    S. 2861 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Sarah Puro. The 
estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       number of persons covered

    Section 2 of S. 2861, as reported, would expand Federal 
protections against assault to crew members of a passenger 
train providing intercity rail passenger transportation, which 
is expected to predominantly cover Amtrak crew members. As 
discussed above, from 2015 to 2017, Amtrak recorded 73 assaults 
to crew members aboard its trains. For such assaults to 
constitute an offense under S. 2861, the assault would have to 
occur onboard an Amtrak train in operation, or on a platform 
serving an Amtrak train in operation, and the assault would 
have to interfere with the performance of the duties of the 
Amtrak crew member or lessen that Amtrak crew member's ability 
to perform those duties. With respect to attempt or conspiracy 
to assault, Amtrak currently does not have data on the 
prevalence of such crimes against crew members.

                            economic impact

    S. 2861, as reported, is not expected to have a negative 
impact on the Nation's economy.

                                privacy

    S. 2861, as reported, is not expected to have an impact on 
the personal privacy of individuals. Although the bill would 
require GAO to report to Congress on the number of assaults on 
commuter rail crew members, including a description of the 
number and types of assaults and related available details, and 
a description of the outcome of such assaults (such as the 
number of prosecutions of assaults, based on available data), 
such information is expected to be reported in a way that 
protects individuals' privacy and aggregated to a degree that 
no individual is identifiable.

                               paperwork

    S. 2861, as reported, would only incrementally affect 
paperwork requirements for regulated entities. Section 2(c) of 
the bill would require GAO to report to Congress on the number 
of assaults on commuter rail crew members, including a 
description of the number and types of assaults and related 
available details, a description of the outcome of such 
assaults (such as the number of prosecutions of assaults, based 
on available data), and identification of any challenges in 
reporting assault incidents against commuter rail crew members.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title.

    This section would provide that the bill may be cited as 
the ``Passenger Rail Crew Protection Act.''

Section 2. Interference with passenger train crew members.

    This section would make it unlawful for any person onboard 
a passenger train in operation, or on a platform serving a 
passenger train in operation, to: (1) assault a crew member and 
thereby interfere with the performance of the duties of a crew 
member or lessen the ability of a crew member to perform those 
duties; or (2) attempt or conspire to perform such an act. 
Passenger train would be defined as a passenger train in 
intercity rail passenger service transportation (as defined in 
section 24102 of title 49, United States Code). A violator 
would be subject to a fine or imprisonment for not more than 8 
years, or both, or not more than 20 years if a dangerous weapon 
is used in assaulting the crew member.
    Under this section, a platform serving a passenger train in 
operation is intended to mean the immediate platform that is 
closest to the passenger train that is used for boarding and 
deboarding the passenger train. Crew member would mean a 
service employee--defined as an engineer, conductor, onboard 
personnel, and employee performing or responsible for a safety-
sensitive function--assigned to duty on an in-service passenger 
train. Dangerous weapons would be defined as a weapon, device, 
instrument, material, or animate or inanimate substance that is 
used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious 
bodily injury.
    Additionally, this section would include the sense of 
Congress that a rail passenger carrier providing intercity rail 
passenger transportation should develop and implement training 
and protocols on assault prevention and response, as well as 
dealing with hostile situations. The section also would include 
the sense of Congress that such a carrier should provide notice 
to the public on the Federal offense created by this bill.
    Finally, this section would direct the GAO to review the 
number of assaults on rail crew members operating or assisting 
with commuter rail passenger transportation (as defined in 
section 24102 of title 49, United States Code) at each of the 
10 largest commuter rail carriers (as determined by annual 
ridership) and submit a report to Congress with any 
recommendations from its findings.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
material is printed in italic, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

                        TITLE 49. TRANSPORTATION


                       SUBTITLE V. RAIL PROGRAMS

                         PART E. MISCELLANEOUS

                      CHAPTER 281. LAW ENFORCEMENT

Sec. 28104. Interference with passenger train crew members

  (a) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Crew member.--The term ``crew member'' means a 
        person, other than a passenger, who is a service 
        employee assigned to duty on an in-service passenger 
        train.
          (2) Dangerous weapon.--
                  (A) In general.--The term ``dangerous 
                weapon'' means a weapon, device, instrument, 
                material, or animate or inanimate substance 
                that is used for, or is readily capable of, 
                causing death or serious bodily injury.
                  (B) Inclusion.--The term ``dangerous weapon'' 
                includes--
                          (i) a pocket knife with a blade that 
                        is less than 2\1/2\ inches in length; 
                        and
                          (ii) a box cutter.
          (3) Passenger train.--The term ``passenger train'' 
        means a passenger train in intercity rail passenger 
        transportation (as defined in section 24102).
          (4) Serious bodily injury.--The term ``serious bodily 
        injury'' means a bodily injury that involves--
                  (A) a substantial risk of death;
                  (B) extreme physical pain;
                  (C) protracted and obvious disfigurement; or
                  (D) protracted loss or impairment of the 
                function of--
                          (i) a bodily member;
                          (ii) an organ; or
                          (iii) a mental facility.
          (5) Service employee.--The term ``service employee'' 
        includes--
                  (A) an engineer;
                  (B) a conductor;
                  (C) onboard personnel; and
                  (D) an employee performing, or responsible 
                for, a safety-sensitive function.
  (b) Offense.--It shall be unlawful for any person onboard a 
passenger train in operation, or on a platform serving a 
passenger train in operation--
          (1) to assault a crew member and thereby interfere 
        with the performance of the duties of a crew member or 
        lessen the ability of a crew member to perform those 
        duties; or
          (2) to attempt or conspire to perform an act 
        described in paragraph (1).
  (c) Penalties.--A person who violates subsection (b)--
          (1) shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned for 
        not more than 8 years, or both; and
          (2) if a dangerous weapon is used in assaulting the 
        crew member, shall be imprisoned for not more than 20 
        years.

                                  [all]