Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 1, 2014

Posts in "Uncategorized"

September 30, 2014

Foxx Takes Opportunity Agenda to Kansas City

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Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Despite the competing issues of Ebola, the Islamic State and a White House intruder, the Obama administration is still pushing its economic development agenda. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has been one of that agenda’s most visible advocates in recent weeks.

Foxx visited Kansas City, Mo., on Monday to award a $1.2 million Ladder of Opportunity grant to the city’s bus system.

Full story

September 29, 2014

FAA Aims For Recovery of Chicago Traffic Control Center In Two Weeks

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FAA administrator Michael Huerta (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Federal Aviation Administration chief Michael Huerta gave an update Monday of the FAA’s efforts to recover from the fire which knocked out the Air Route Traffic Control Center in Aurora, Ill., on Friday.

Huerta said in a speech at the annual conference of the Air Traffic Control Association that on Sunday controllers managed about 60 percent of typical traffic at O’Hare airport and “we are trying to reach as close to normal operations as quickly as possible.”

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This Week’s Transportation Agenda: Air Traffic Control Conference & Foxx Road Trip

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An Alaska Airlines jet passes the air traffic control tower at Los Angles International Airport (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

This week, by strange coincidence, the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) holds its 59th annual conference at the National Harbor center near Washington just after the Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control center in Aurora, Ill., was shut by a fire set by a technician working for a FAA contractor. Full story

September 26, 2014

TSA Looks to Private Sector to Expand Vetting Program

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TSA Administrator John Pistole (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/CQ)

John Pistole, head of the Transportation Security Administration, announced Friday that the agency was moving to expand its TSA Pre-Check system by soliciting bids from private-sector companies that could do screening of would-be domestic air travelers.

The TSA PreCheck program allows 600,000 domestic passengers who are deemed to be low risks for terrorism to get expedited screening at airports. Full story

The Container’s Friday Q & A: The National Association of Realtors’ Russell Riggs

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For-Sale sign in front of a newly built house in Williston, N.D. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Hollywood studios won permission Thursday from the Federal Aviation Administration to use drones when filming movies. Next, will it be real estate agents who get to use drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to help sell homes?

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A Look Back: Toll Lanes, A Big Bankruptcy, Hedging Gone Bad & LNG-Powered Ships

470901883 445x279 A Look Back: Toll Lanes, A Big Bankruptcy, Hedging Gone Bad & LNG Powered Ships

A Las Vegas highway interchange (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

This week on The Container, we reported on the role of toll lanes in the North Carolina Senate race where donors to the campaign of Republican Thom Tillis could benefit from a new exit being built as part of a project near Charlotte.

Tillis is challenging first-term Democrat Sen. Kay Hagan, as the GOP aims for at least 51 seats.

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When Hedging Goes Awry, On The Road And Aloft

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United Airlines jets sit at gates at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Investors and firms use hedging strategies to try to protect themselves against movements in interest rates or commodity prices.

But hedging sometimes brings grief, as two documents this week showed. Full story

September 25, 2014

Foxx Touts Reliable Bus Service As Economic Lifeline

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Detroit residents board a city bus (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

In Jesse Jackson’s stump speech when he ran for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination were the memorable lines about the working poor: “They work hard every day. I know, I live amongst them. They catch the early bus.”

In a speech Thursday at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx spoke up for those who catch the early bus — and the late bus, too, as he announced a $25 million grant to the city to purchase 50 new buses. Full story

September 24, 2014

Toll Lanes May Become Issue In North Carolina Race

NCPOL14 069 050614 445x284 Toll Lanes May Become Issue In North Carolina Race

North Carolina Republican Senate candidate Thom Tillis during May 6 primary election (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Charlotte, N.C., TV station WCNC is reporting that donors to Republican Senate candidate Thom Tillis’s campaign could profit from a new exit on Interstate 77, which will serve a property called Augustalee in Cornelius, N.C.

The exit will be part of a project, which Tillis, speaker of the North Carolina House, supports to add toll lanes to I-77 to reduce traffic congestion.

Full story

After Surge in Fatal Accidents, NTSB Urges Better Railroad Worker Briefings

155941314 414x335 After Surge in Fatal Accidents, NTSB Urges Better Railroad Worker Briefings

Long Island Railroad workers repairing tracks after Superstorm Sandy in 2012 (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The National Transportation Safety Board Wednesday recommended more thorough safety briefings after an increase in the number of railroad and mass transit maintenance workers killed in accidents in the last four years. There were 15 such fatalities last year.

In one case last year, a worker was electrocuted in Harpursville, N.Y., when a non-insulated aerial lift came in contact with electrical lines. Other maintenance workers were killed by passing trains, one was killed by a mudslide and another died of heat stroke on a hot summer day.

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September 23, 2014

Lessons of the Indiana Toll Road Bankruptcy

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As governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels signed the Indiana Toll Road deal (Congressional Quarterly photo by Scott J. Ferrell)

Since we’ve written frequently about the contentious issue of toll roads, we can’t let pass without notice Monday’s news that the company operating the Indiana Toll Road has filed for bankruptcy.

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LNG-Powered Ships Get $324.6M Loan Guarantee

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Workers change pipes at gas drilling rig exploring the Marcellus Shale outside Waynesburg, Pa. (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

With a natural gas boom underway in shale formations such as the Marcellus in Pennsylvania and neighboring states, the Energy Information Administration projects a 56 percent increase in domestic natural gas production from 2012 to 2040.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx wants to use some of that abundant and relatively cheap natural gas to power container ships.

Full story

Jihadists with European Passports Spur Closer Look at Visa Waiver Program

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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama will lead a UN Security Council meeting Wednesday to discuss what UN member nations can do to track and deter the growing number of foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq.

Some of those fighters carry European passports and therefore, under the visa waiver program (VWP), could board a commercial flight from Paris, for example, and enter the United States without the interview and scrutiny required to obtain a visa. Full story

September 22, 2014

Vehicle Miles Driven Continues To Bounce Back

JulyVMT Vehicle Miles Driven Continues To Bounce Back The number of miles Americans traveled on the nation’s highways and roads increased in July by 1.5 percent, compared to last July, according to the Traffic Volume Trends monthly report issued by the Federal Highway Administration.

But July’s total miles driven, estimated to be 266.8 billion vehicle miles, still falls short of the miles driven in July of 2007.

Full story

Week Ahead: Foxx In New York For ‘Resiliency’ & NTSB Meets on Rail Worker Safety

Starting off the week in transportation news, on Monday morning Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will be in front of the ferry terminal at the foot of Manhattan at Peter Minuit Plaza – where the Dutch started the colony of New Amsterdam 388 years ago — to announce new funding to make New York City’s transit system better able to endure catastrophic storms.

Full story

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