“I worry that there has been a movement in my party and in my movement in response to the legislation that I’ve proposed that would not hold Norfolk Southern or the rail industry accountable … And now [the railroad industry is] claiming before the Senate and the House that our reasonable regulation, our reasonable legislation is somehow a violation of the free market? Well pot, meet the kettle, because that doesn’t make an ounce of sense. You cannot claim special government privileges, you cannot ask the government to bail you out, and then resist basic public safety.
“Now, let me just say this. I’ve heard a lot of talk from my fellow Republicans, and I think that talk is very justified, that we are the party of working people in this country … We are the party of firefighters, of police officers, of the people who go to work, pay their taxes, fight our country’s wars, and keep our communities safe. We are proud of that and we should be proud of that in the Republican Party.
“But now we are faced with a choice, with this legislation and how we respond to this crisis, do we do the bidding of a massive industry that is in bed with big government, or do we do the bidding of the people who elected us to the Senate and to the Congress in the first place?
“I believe that we are the party of working people, but it’s time to be the party of working people. We have a choice. Are we for big business and big government or are we for the people of East Palestine? It’s a time for choosing. Let’s make the right one.”