On the surface, House Joint Bill 76 reads like just another legislative bill. However, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan believes Congress passed a law in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
During the height of the news coverage regarding Hurricane Harvey and the Charlottesville backlash, Congress passed the bill, which President Donald Trump signed into law.
The title of the bill states its purpose: “Granting the consent and approval of Congress for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland, and the District of Columbia to enter into a compact relating to the establishment of the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission.”
The bill would create the WMSC as a new branch of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which would preside over primarily the train system in Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C.
The commission would, “Review, approve, oversee and enforce the adoption and implementation of WMATA’s Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan.” While the intention of the bill is not being debated, one stipulation within the bill caused one percent of congressmen (five Republicans) to oppose.
The bill would give the WMATA the ability to enter any federally owned property adjacent to the metro rail system “without limitation” for the intention of “making inspections, investigations, examinations and testing.” H.J. RES. 76 article four.
The five representatives who voted against the bill included Justin Amash, R-MI; Walter Jones, R-N.C.; Thomas Massie, R-KY; Alex Mooney, R-WV; and Mark Sanford, R-S.C.
House Joint Bill 76 became a resolution on Aug. 22, 2017.