President Barack Obama has invited Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), a member of the conference committee on the new Surface Transportation Bill, to the bill signing on Friday, July 6, 2012 at 4:45 p.m. at The White House. Despite serious reservations, Norton felt compelled to support the final bill because it is the only significant jobs bill from the 112th Congress, and because it contains priority legislation she co-sponsored, establishing the first national subway safety standards. "Republicans took their pound of flesh in many areas, particularly from our environmental priorities, and biking and walking programs I have been able to achieve in every transportation bill in the past," Norton said. "Until the last minute, however, we were in danger of losing the bill altogether and with it, my top jobs and safety priorities. While federal construction projects have helped bring D.C.'s unemployment rate down, it remains the highest in the region. We have struggled ever since the tragic 2009 Metrorail crash for safety standards to prevent a reoccurrence here or anywhere else. In the end, with fewer losses from the bill than I once thought possible, we now have the first national subway safety standards, finally bringing to subways the federal regulation that has long applied to every other form of transportation. Just last month, at the placement of a commemoration marker with the names of the victims near the site of the accident, I told the families, seven of the nine D.C. residents, killed on June 22, 2009, that the safety standards were my priority to achieve in this bill, the least Congress owes them."