Congress may be struggling to reach a compromise on the Department of Homeland Security budget — which means they are once again courting a shutdown and the consternation of their constituents — but they are coming together to support something far more fun and furry.
Trains, except with puppies!
Representative Jeff Denham of California, who runs the House subcommittee on rail regulations, first introduced the Pets on Trains Act in 2013. He’s trying again in 2015, nearly a year after around 140 pets took advantage of an Amtrak pilot program welcoming them aboard (current Amtrak policy only allows service dogs to ride the trains).
More important, he started a hashtag too. The bill currently has 24 sponsors, and at least one sponsor-in-spirit. Former Staten Island representative Michael Grimm was a big fan of the 2013 iteration of the bill, as was his Yorkie, Sebastian. Grimm was not the first New Yorker to want to bring his pet Sebastian on the train.