Bill Summaries Archive

Listed below are the major legislative proposals that were considered during the previous 113th Congress that addressed rail customer concerns. If you would like additional information on these bills, please contact Ann Warner, Executive Director, at

CURE continues to be concerned about the enormous inadequacies of the STB’s rate reasonableness process and the special antitrust exemptions that railroads use to protect their monopoly. The consolidation in the rail industry, combined with several ICC/STB policies and the lack of antitrust oversight, has prevented the development of effective competition and has led to the railroads’ failure to serve their customers. Rail customers are not seeking changes to the fundamental principles of the current regulatory system. Rather, they would like to see several significant “fixes” to balance out the positions between the railroads and rail customers.

Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act 

  • Removes outdated special antitrust exemption that allow freight railroads to avoid competition and therefore keep their rates artificially and unfairly high. These unjustifiably high rail rates are a hidden tax on consumers, inflating prices on everyday items like food, electricity, paper, manufactured goods and nearly everything else we buy.
  • Ensures that STB decisions comply with our nation’s pro-competitive policies.
  • Permits the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to review mergers under antitrust law.
  • Allows state Attorneys General and other private parties to sue for treble damages and sue for court orders to halt anti-competitive conduct, both of which are not currently allowable under federal law.

Senate legislation: S. 638, the “Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2013”, introduced March 21, 2013

Additional Bill Summaries and Resources:

Antitrust Logo One Pager S. 638

Selected Testimony