Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., will preside at a hearing Thursday on the Takata airbag recalls. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)
As the lame duck session of Congress ponders how to pay for government operations after Dec. 11 when the continuing resolution expires, some members are looking ahead to the transportation policy choices they’ll have make in the new Congress.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hears from Nicholas Calio, president of Airlines for America, Capt. Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, and other witnesses as it looks to its complex task of reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration. The current FAA authorization expires in September.
Also on Capitol Hill Tuesday, the Freight Stakeholders Coalition will present its ideas on how next year’s surface transportation bill could help American manufacturing and U.S. workers’ productivity by financing freight rail projects.
The speakers include Robyn Boerstling, the director of transportation and infrastructure policy at the National Association of Manufacturers, and Kurt Nagle, president of the American Association of Port Authorities.
The R Street Institute, a Washington think tank whose mission is to “promote free markets and limited, effective government,” hosts a panel on how cities, including the nation’s capital, are regulating driver-for-hire services such as Lyft and Uber.
Chris Massey, director of government relations at Lyft and Marc Scribner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute will be among the speakers.
Last week the R Street Institute issued a report grading 50 of the largest U.S. cities on their friendliness to for-hire vehicle services.
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a hearing on the Takata airbag defects and the vehicle recall process.
Senator Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who’ll become ranking Democrat on the committee next year, will chair the hearing. Nelson has been one of several senators to voice his unhappiness with the performance of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an agency which after 10 months still lacks a permanent head since President Obama hasn’t nominated one.
Two weeks ago. two members of the committee, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., urged the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation of Takata.
The New York Times has reported that ex-employees of Takata said the company knew as far back as 2004 that some of its airbags were defective, but executives didn’t alert regulators.
Also on Thursday, from the land of Tesla, the California Institute for Federal Policy Research holds a briefing on Capitol Hill on the progress of electric vehicles in California and efforts by utilities to invest in infrastructure and support electric fleets.
Executives from PG&E, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric will brief and field questions.