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Lawmakers aim to thwart Amtrak forced-arbitration policy
New rule prevents lawsuits over injuries or deaths of passengers in rail accidents

Emergency crews at the scene of an Amtrak train derailment that killed three people in December 2017 near DuPont, Wash. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Lawmakers are in the initial stages of determining whether they can prevent Amtrak from implementing a forced arbitration policy that would bar passengers from suing if they’re hurt or killed in crashes.

Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, said Wednesday that he was trying to determine how best to stop the government-supported passenger rail service from imposing the forced arbitration policy on customers. Amtrak began imposing the policy in January.

McConnell defeats Schumer’s tax cut for the wealthy
With their effort to repeal the SALT cap rule, Democrats show their hypocrisy

The push for a massive wealth transfer espoused by Sens. Elizabeth Warren, left, and Bernie Sanders, center, are at odds with their leader Chuck Schumer’s recent effort to help high-tax earners, Winston writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — With all things impeachment dominating to the exclusion of almost everything else, it’s not surprising that a very interesting vote took place in the Senate last week and almost no one noticed. But that vote illustrates the incredibly difficult dilemma facing the Democratic Party going into 2020.

Democrats running for president, including several sitting senators, have chosen to wage a divisive class-based strategy centered on punitively taxing the “wealthy” to fund their multitrillion-dollar “free stuff” agendas.

Shrinking congressional districts look for federal help
Some districts may have lost 30,000 or more people through 2018

Flint, Mich., residents Virginia Mitchell, right, and her daughter-in-law, Tiara Williams, pictured in 2016 during the city’s lead contamination crisis. Flint is among communities that have lost population since 2010 and are seeking more federal dollars. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite explosive growth in other areas of the country since 2010, about 80 congressional districts have lost significant population over the decade — leaving many looking for help from the federal government. 

Some districts may have lost 30,000 or more people through 2018, many of them in manufacturing and mining areas in the Northeast, according to Census Bureau data released last month. Most of those districts are represented by Democrats but located in states President Donald Trump won in 2016 by promising new trade deals that have since taken a back seat in Washington.

Pay to play: Will California prompt congressional action on college athletics?
The norm for college athletics has been steadily rising revenue, and business shifts

Penn State wide receiver KJ Hamler catches a 22-yard touchdown pass during a game against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday. A new California law may prompt congressional action to allow student-athletes to be compensated. (Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images file photo)

For college football fanatics, nothing compares to waking up on that first crisp autumn Saturday morning to prepare for a whole day of game watching. Tuning in to ESPN’s “College GameDay.” Sipping bourbon at the tailgate without facing societal judgment for drinking before noon.

College football’s shared rituals and traditions provide millions with a weekly source of escapism and entertainment every fall. The game offers excitement, frustration and camaraderie on any given Saturday thanks to the dizzying skills of its student-athletes.

At Dallas rally, embattled Trump calls 2020 a fight for ‘survival of American democracy’
President hauls in $5.5 million in 2020 campaign cash at two Texas fundraisers

President Donald Trump speaks at the 2019 House Republican Conference Member Retreat dinner in Baltimore last month. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump wasted little time Thursday at a campaign rally in Dallas attacking Democrats leading an impeachment probe against him, saying “Crazy Nancy” and “Shifty Schiff” hate the United States.

“The Democrats have betrayed our country,” he said to cheers, adding the 2020 election is about the “survival of American democracy.”

DeFazio: Uber, Lyft need to ‘clean up their acts’
DeFazio said ride-hailing companies must change if they want partnerships with agencies using federal dollars

Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., left, and ranking member Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., conduct a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing in February 2019. DeFazio said the committee is still struggling on how to regulate ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

If ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft hope to ever partner with agencies that use federal dollars, “they are going to have to clean up their acts,” the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said Wednesday.

Noting reports of explosive growth of those companies as well as low-paid and unvetted drivers, the panel’s subcommittee on highways and transit is wrestling with how best to regulate a burgeoning industry that has recently advocated for federal dollars as it grapples with massive losses.

Senate confirms Eugene Scalia as Labor secretary
Schumer slams nomination as a “disagrace.” Alexander sees incoming secretary as a “steady hand”

Eugene Scalia was confirmed Thursday as Labor secretary. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Corporate lawyer Eugene Scalia received Senate confirmation Thursday to be secretary of Labor in a 53-44 party-line vote.

The vote followed a similar partisan divide in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee when it voted Tuesday to advance Scalia, the son of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Highlighting UAW ties, Cory Booker unveils labor plan as GM workers strike
Booker’s grandfather was a union rep in Detroit and worked on an assembly line during World War II

Sen. Cory Booker is unveiling a labor policy plan amid a UAW-GM strike. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As a General Motors strike continues for a third day, presidential hopeful Sen. Cory Booker is rolling out his labor policy plan.

As part of the unveiling, the Democrat from New Jersey is embracing his family’s history with organized labor, and in particular, the United Auto Workers.

Beware confirmation bias with the 2020 presidential race
What’s the rush to declare the Democratic race a three-person contest?

Yes, it’s early in the 2020 presidential race to be making astute judgments, but certainly the early polling numbers for President Donald Trump are not what one would expect from an incumbent when the economy is healthy, Rothenberg writes.. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — “The next debate is do or die for many Democratic hopefuls.”

Andrew Yang “is on fire.”

Pelosi’s choice: cooperation or confrontation
Party progressives and 2020 hopefuls have put speaker in a predicament

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has to choose between cooperating with Republicans or confronting them, Winston writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — On ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday, Rahm Emanuel, one of the smartest strategists in the Democratic Party, had this to say of his party’s presidential hopefuls: 

“The person that appreciates, understands, and puts themselves most comfortably, based on their own history, where the voters have lived their lives, that’s going to be the candidate that shines over … the long term.”