Transportation News for February 10, 2015

  • by BPC Staff
  • on February 10, 2015

POLITICO Morning Transportation 

ON TAP FOR TODAY: Sen. Deb Fischer holds her second hearing of the year as chairwoman of the Senate Commerce transportation subcommittee, this time on the movement of goods around the United States.

CAGTC testimony preview: CAGTC board member John Greuling will call on Congress to establish a freight program with dedicated funding in the next transportation bill. He’ll also push for a competitive freight grant program with a minimum $2 billion in annual funding and ask Congress to make the national freight policy multimodal, according to a preview of his testimony.

And what about that ranking member? When Fischer kicked off the panel’s first hearing in late January, Democrats still hadn’t sorted out ranking member slots so Sen. Richard Blumenthal kept the seat warm.

SPEAKING OF PORTS … BOXER AND FEINSTEIN URGE RESOLUTION: Marianne LeVine has the scoop: “Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein are urging the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) to resolve their ongoing contract dispute, calling growing congestion at the ports ‘unacceptable and unsustainable.’

TRIO OF TRANSPO BILLS UP FOR VOTE: Across the Capitol, House lawmakers will vote on a trio of transportation bills this evening. Up for consideration are two TSA-reform bills introduced by freshman Rep. John Katko, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee with TSA oversight, and another bill sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. All three bills will be considered under suspension of the rules, a House maneuver reserved for noncontroversial legislation.

IGNITION SWITCH DEATH TOLL UP TO 52: At least 52 people have been killed due to faulty ignition switches in GM vehicles, according to an updated report released by the victim compensation fund on Monday. See the most recent report:

Related: GM lawyer to retire in July: The Detroit News reports: “General Motors Co.’s top lawyer Michael Millikin, who GM last year said would retire early this year, will stay on with the company until July, the automaker disclosed last week in a regulatory filing. Full story:

MAILBAG – FIX THE HIGHWAY TRUST FUND NOW: Nearly 300 lawmakers have signed on to a letter spearheaded by T&I members Dan Lipinski and Reid Ribble calling for House leadership to move a long-term transportation bill before the May deadline. Read more:

BEHIND THE SCENES: MARKEY’S AUTO SECURITY REPORT – Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey on Monday released a report criticizing major automakers for lax security practices when it comes to cars’ wireless technology. “Markey found that almost all vehicles are connected, but only two makers have the ability to respond to hacks in real time and security measures are ‘inconsistent and haphazard’ in the way they deal with remote access.” Read the report:

TA-TA FOR NOW: The House Transportation Committee’s digital guru Michael Marinaccio is saying so long, leaving for a new gig with the NRSC, the campaign arm for Senate Republicans. Hopefully House T&I Chairman Shuster knows how to pronounce his last name now:


-Third rail is focus of investigation into Metro-North crash. The Wall Street Journal:

-ALPA teams up with Delta and Hawaiian Airlines in asking the Ex-Im Bank to reject an aircraft financing request from Norwegian Air. Read more:

-“Serial stowaway” successfully slips aboard flight to Florida. USA Today:

-Massachusetts governor is “frustrated” and “disappointed” with MBTA’s performance during winter storm. CBS:

-Comparing Metro emergency protocol to the response to January’s fatal smoke accident near L’Enfant Plaza station. WAMU:

-“If a motorcycle married a bobsled.” Behind the scenes on Toyota’s futuristic iRoad. USA Today:

-Opinion: VMT may be the solution for California’s highway woes. San Francisco Chronicle:

-Your odds of getting into a car crash can skyrocket after just a couple of drinks. The Washington Post:

-Uber’s worst nightmare: What could go wrong for the popular company. Business Insider:

THE COUNTDOWN: Highway and transit policy expires in 110 days. DOT appropriations run out and the FAA reauthorization expires in 232 days. The 2016 presidential election is in 637 days.

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