"The troubled railroad's corporate PAC has donated to more than half of the members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee."
"Norfolk Southern’s corporate PAC has donated more than $375,000 to members of the Senate committee that grilled the railroad’s chief executive on Thursday about the toxic derailment of one of the company’s trains in East Palestine, Ohio.
Seven of the nine Republicans and four of the 10 Democrats who sit on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee have cashed campaign checks from the PAC over the course of their careers, according to a HuffPost review of Federal Election Commission records dating back to 2000. The Republicans’ campaign committees and leadership PACs have collected $304,000 from Norfolk Southern, while the Democrats have received $75,000.
The donations show how Norfolk Southern, and the railroad industry more broadly, have accumulated influence in Washington and used it to fend off rail safety measures sought by regulators, unions and consumer advocates. The committee’s Republicans, in particular, have often spoken out against regulations and supported the transportation of hazardous materials by rail."