March 23, 2023

Senator Schmitt Demands Answers from Norfolk Southern CEO, Other Witnesses in Senate Commerce Hearing

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Schmitt questioned the CEO of Norfolk Southern on the disaster that has effected the lives of thousands of people in East Palestine, Ohio and also called out the Biden administration for ignoring blue collar towns across America.

Watch the full questioning by clicking here.

Senator Schmitt’s opening remarks as delivered:

East Palestine is a town that people outside of East Palestine and folks in Ohio probably have not heard of before this terrible tragedy. There are a lot of towns like East Palestine here in Missouri where I’m from: Garden City, Fulton, Sikeston. Bridgeton, Missouri, where I’m from, is a real blue-collar neighborhood. 

These are towns that are not towns filled with corporate titans or elites, but instead working men and women who go to church every Sunday, try to get home for dinner, get their kids to practice, and try to play by the rules. All of these towns matter. East Palestine matters. 

Instead of showing up in towns like this and specifically East Palestine, this Administration demonstrated that they didn’t matter. Joe Biden still has not shown up in East Palestine. He’s been to Ukraine but not East Palestine. Pete Buttigieg – it took three weeks for him to show up.

I think so much of this, in addition to the things that can be approved, is a lack of attention from this administration that people of this town for whatever reason to them, weren’t worthy of an appearance of letting them know that we’re going to support them.

So I think that one of the reasons in addition to the toxic chemicals spill that this is become such a big issue: it’s demonstrative. It shows this administration is completely out of touch with what I would refer to as “flyover country.” Places like Missouri, places like Ohio – it shouldn’t matter to the Biden administration.

What’s worse in all of this is this accident was foreseeable, avoidable, and preventable.