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					October 4, 2000                    CONGRESSIONAL RECORD — Extensions of Remarks                                                                         E1675
respect to product liability reform, securities       gargantuan effort required to deal with mas-            gram for youth; and developed a job training
litigation reform, and reform of the federal          sive creditor claims against the Penn Central           and placement center for young mothers,
Superfund program. More importantly, I spon-          estate, while at the same time helping to fash-         among other activities.
sored legislation that has helped reduce frivo-       ion Conrail as the federally created successor             I wish to thank Tracy and the numerous in-
lous class action lawsuits brought against            to the various bankrupt Northeastern freight            dividuals with whom he works for their tireless
mortgage brokers.                                     railroads. Bob handled these daunting tasks             efforts to make our communities safer.
    This year, I voted to support H.R. 1875, the      with characteristic acumen and aplomb. Even-
Interstate Class Action Jurisdiction Act. This        tually, thanks to the groundwork laid during
legislation recognizes that many class action         Bob’s tenure with the Penn Central, Conrail              NATIONAL DAY OF THE REPUBLIC
lawsuits do little to help consumers, but allow       became a thriving railroad that was fully                          OF CHINA
personal injury lawyers to collect millions of        privatized in 1987 and was recently purchased
dollars in legal fees. H.R. 1875 is an important      by Norfolk Southern and CSX.                                    HON. GARY L. ACKERMAN
step in helping reform a legal system that has           When Ronald Reagan took office in 1981,                                 OF NEW YORK
been abused time and time again.                      Bob was named Federal Railroad Adminis-                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
    Legal reform is a complex issue. The legal        trator. This was an era of massive and long                       Wednesday, October 4, 2000
system must function to provide justice to            overdue change, when the entire freight rail-              Mr. ACKERMAN. Mr. Speaker, as the Re-
every American. This does not mean, how-              road industry was being transformed and re-             public of China’s 89th National Day ap-
ever, that the status quo is perfect. When law-       habilitated through the deregulation of the             proaches, I wish to congratulate President
suits and the courts are used in excess or to         Staggers Rail Act. Bob was at the center of ef-         Chen Shui-bian and the people of Taiwan for
the detriment of innocent parties, the system         forts to modernize all federal policies affecting       their continuing economic success and polit-
must be reviewed and reformed.                        the rail transport system.                              ical reforms.
    Let me acknowledge the BRCALA board of               In 1983, Bob returned to private law prac-              On this festive occasion, it is my hope that
directors for giving of their valuable time and       tice, representing the French high-speed rail           Taiwan and the Chinese mainland will soon
energy: the Honorable Phillip Bissett, BRCALA         enterprise, TGV. Later, from 1990 to 1997, he           begin a serious dialogue on reunification
chairman; Joseph Brown, Jr.; Dr. William How-         served as general counsel to the Association            issues. The time is approaching for both sides
ard; Gary O. Prince; the Honorable Joseph             of American Railroads.                                  to work out their differences and find a way to
Sachs; and the Honorable Michael Wagner—                 Those who worked in or with the railroad in-         co-exist without antagonism. I am certain the
directors and supporters dedicated to                 dustry can attest to Bob’s razor-sharp mind             people on Taiwan look forward to the day
BRCALA; and Nancy Hill, BRCALA executive              and analytical skills. He was able easily to            when they will be able to celebrate October
director.                                             grasp the most complex issues, and equally              10th without the fear of a bellicose neighbor
    Mr. Speaker, the Baltimore Regional Citi-         important, to fashion sensible proposals for            threatening not only their political freedom, but
zens Against Lawsuit Abuse has declared               addressing those issues. Without exception,             also their very lives.
September 18 through September 22, 2000,              Bob was the consummate gentleman, and a                    I also would like to take this opportunity to
as ‘‘Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week’’ in Mary-          constant source of dry wit and good humor.              extend my heartfelt congratulations and best
land.                                                 He never shrank from discussing and dis-                wishes to Ambassador C.J. Chen, who re-
    I want to commend every person involved in        secting the rail transport policy issues of the         cently returned to Washington after several
this worthwhile effort for their dedication and       day, on or off Capitol Hill.                            years in Taipei. A distinguished diplomat, Am-
commitment.                                              Throughout his professional career, Bob re-          bassador Chen is now Taiwan’s chief rep-
                                                      mained intensely proud of his French heritage,          resentative in the United States. Ambassador
                                                      and an unapologetic Francophile, always                 Chen is an industrious and experienced dip-
  A TRIBUTE TO HON. ROBERT W.                         ready to discuss French culture, cuisine, and
          BLANCHETTE                                                                                          lomat who has worked diligently for many
                                                      of course, wine. He was truly un homme                  years to strengthen ties between the United
                                                      extraordinaire, and will be sorely missed by all        States and the people of Taiwan.
            HON. BUD SHUSTER                          who had the good fortune to know him.                      Mr. Speaker, Taiwan has become a beacon
               OF PENNSYLVANIA                                                                                of democracy in an area of the world which
   IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                                                                            has known authoritarianism for centuries. The
                                                      MR. TRACY JOHNSON HONORED
          Wednesday, October 4, 2000                   WITH NATIONAL CRIME PREVEN-                            upcoming celebration of National Day in the
                                                       TION AWARD                                             Republic of China is a timely reminder of the
   Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay
                                                                                                              importance of our friendship and support for
tribute to one of the true leaders in the renais-
sance of America’s rail transportation system.                HON. DONALD A. MANZULLO
Robert Blanchette, who died last week, was                                OF ILLINOIS
literally present at the creation when our pri-             IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                   AMERICAN COMPETITIVENESS IN
vate-sector railroads suffered financial col-                                                                  THE  TWENTY-FIRST  CENTURY
lapse in the 1970s, and then returned to finan-                  Wednesday, October 4, 2000
                                                                                                               ACT OF 2000
cial stability after 1980.                               Mr. MANZULLO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today
   After graduation from Yale Law School and          to pay tribute to Mr. Tracy Johnson of Free-                                SPEECH OF
service as an Air Force legal officer, Mr.            port, Illinois, a town in the congressional dis-                HON. PATRICK J. KENNEDY
Blanchette began his legal career in rail-            trict I am privileged to represent. Tracy is a                            OF RHODE ISLAND
roading as the general counsel of the New             modern-day hero who works tirelessly to pre-
                                                                                                                 IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Haven Railroad in the late 1960s. While serv-         vent crime in northern Illinois.
ing in that post, he also became executive di-           On September 29, 2000, Tracy joined seven                       Tuesday, October 3, 2000
rector of the America’s Sound Transportation          other citizen crime fighters from around the                Mr. KENNEDY of Rhode Island. Mr. Speak-
Review program, one of the first modern ef-           country to receive the SBC Communications               er, in 1998, Congress passed legislation to
forts to analyze the ills of the transport system     Award of Excellence in Crime Prevention. Na-            raise the H–1B caps to 115,000 visas per
and recommend needed changes.                         tionally recognized comedian Joe Piscopo pre-           year. That legislation included important provi-
   Bob’s next major post was counsel to the           sented the award during the ‘‘2000 National             sions to ensure that American workers would
bankruptcy trustee of the Penn Central Rail-          Conference on Preventing Crime’’ in Wash-               not be displaced by those holding H–1B visas.
road, which entered bankruptcy in 1970 and            ington, DC. This year’s eight winners, selected         This included requirements for employers to
collapsed in 1973. At the time, Penn Central          from nominations across the country, have all           file applications with the Department of Labor
was the largest corporate bankruptcy in U.S.          made major impacts in their communities with            showing that they will pay the H–1B worker
history. Based on his outstanding performance         their innovative crime prevention strategies.           the ‘‘required wage rate’’ and that a strike or
as counsel, Bob was later installed first as             Tracy received this special honor because            lockout was not occuring at the job site.
bankruptcy trustee, then chairman of the              he helped spearhead the Coalition for a Safe                Unfortunately, that legislation was not
board, and chief executive officer.                   Community, a comprehensive partnership of               enough and already the 115,000 H–1B visa
   As one who arrived in Congress in the midst        organizations and people planning and acting            limit for Fiscal Year 2000 has been reached.
of what became known as ‘‘the wreck of the            to prevent crime throughout Freeport; started           Tuesday, the Senate passed S. 2045 to in-
Penn Central,’’ I can personally attest to the        an education and action crime prevention pro-           crease the H–1B cap to 195,000 through 2003

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