Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 27, 2014

Posts in "Uncategorized"

August 21, 2014

As North Carolina Prepares for New Tolls, Opponent Decries ‘Caste System’

Tolling may soon become a routine method of paying for new highway construction even in traditional non-toll states, and drivers may just have to get used to it.

But some drivers are waging a battle to prevent tolling on a congested 26-mile stretch of Interstate 77 in North Carolina.

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August 19, 2014

Uber Hires Former Obama Strategist Plouffe To Run Its PR Efforts (Video)

118824760 445x296 Uber Hires Former Obama Strategist Plouffe To Run Its PR Efforts (Video)

(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

Uber, the company with the popular car-hailing app that has spawned taxi driver protests in cities from Milan to San Francisco, has hired President Barack Obama’s former political strategist David Plouffe to run its political and public relations operations.

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August 18, 2014

WHO, Aviation Groups Urge Focus on Containing Ebola, Not Inhibiting Air Travel

The heads of international travel, aviation and the the World Health Organization issued a joint statement Monday urging national governments and air carriers to not respond to the Ebola outbreak by resorting to “measures that will create unnecessary interference with international travel or trade.”

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August 14, 2014

International Task Force Meets to Devise Rules for Flights Over Conflict Zones

How can another war-related air catastrophe such as the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 17 be averted?

A task force of 59 government and industry experts convened by the International Civil Aviation Organization is trying to answer that question at a two-day meeting that started Thursday at ICAO’s Montreal headquarters.

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August 13, 2014

Traffic Safety Officials Set Labor Day Crackdown on Driving While Impaired

madd rally001 092712 445x302 Traffic Safety Officials Set Labor Day Crackdown on Driving While Impaired

Barbara and Alan Weatherford of Gulfport, Miss., hold a picture of their daughter, Deanna Tucker, who was killed by a drunk driver in 2011. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Since 2004, all states have had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of 0.08 as the legal standard for driving while impaired.

But driving after drinking still imposes massive costs, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminded Americans Wednesday. With the Labor Day holiday two weeks away, NHTSA launched its annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign along with local police officials. The enforcement crackdown runs from August 15 through the Labor Day weekend.

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August 8, 2014

FAA Bans Flights Over Iraq As International Aviation Group Eyes New Warning Procedures

The Federal Aviation Administration on Friday banned U.S. air carriers from flying in the airspace above Iraq.

The FAA order which bans flights over Iraq “until further advised,” was due to the hazards created by fighting between Sunni forces under the Islamic State banner and Kurdish and Iraqi government forces.

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August 6, 2014

Delta Will Keep Flying to Liberia Until End of August, But CEO Says ‘On A Day-By-Day Basis’

Delta Airlines CEO Richard Anderson said Wednesday his company would continue to fly to Liberia until the end of this month, but would look to U.S. and international health officials for guidance in the face of the Ebola virus pandemic which has broken out in Liberia and three nearby African countries: Guinea,  Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

“We’re serving [Liberia] through Aug. 31, but we really take it on a day-by-day basis,” he said in an interview on CNBC.

Delta had previously announced it was discontinuing service to Liberia.

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Missouri Voters Reject Tax Increase to Pay for Transportation Projects

Missouri voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected an increase in the state’s sales tax to pay for highways, roads, and bridges.

The proposed amendment to the state constitution was defeated 59 percent to 41 percent – even though it included elements designed to make it more palatable to voters: it would have explicitly banned tolling on state highways and would have prevented an increase in the state’s tax on gasoline and other motor fuels.

The constitutional amendment would have been a three-quarters of one percent increase to the state’s 4.225 percent sales tax.

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August 1, 2014

Is China’s State-Owned Aircraft Manufacturing Company A Threat to Boeing?

You may wear Chinese-made shirts and not even notice, so will you someday be flying aboard a Chinese-made passenger plane?

The potential threat of China’s commercial aviation sector to American manufacturing – and especially to Boeing — was one focus Thursday of a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security.

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July 31, 2014

Driving While Stoned Risky, but No Federal Standard Yet

More stoned drivers on the road because of marijuana legalization could be a serious risk, at least according to some lawmakers.

At a hearing Thursday on driving and operating other vehicles while impaired by marijuana, House Subcommittee on Government Operations chairman Rep. John L. Mica, R- Fla., said “we’re going to have more people stoned on the highways and there will be consequences.”

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration official Dr. Jeff Michael told the subcommittee that right now there’s too little data to devise a federal impairment standard. His agency is working with the state of Washington to assess the change in marijuana use by drivers before and after the state’s legalization of the drug.

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July 28, 2014

Week’s Transportation Highlight Will Be Senate Passage of Highway Funding Bill

Months of hand-wringing, anguished warnings, and legislative maneuvering culminate in the next five days, as the Senate prepares to pass a bill to refill the Highway Trust Fund and avert what Democratic leaders were calling “the transportation equivalent of a government shutdown.”

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July 24, 2014

Assaults on Public Transit Bus Drivers Prompt DOT Summit

This week, with the FAA’s ban on flights to Tel Aviv and with another plane crash Thursday, this one over Mali, it’s been hard to avoid thinking about transportation risks.

Ground-based transport can be hazardous too, as a driver on a Washington, D.C., bus learned this week when a passenger slashed him across the face in a dispute over paying a fare.

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July 18, 2014

Energy Xtra, CQ Roll Call’s Latest Policy Blog

You might’ve seen us refer already to Energy Xtra, the newest Policy Pulse blog for CQ Roll Call. If you haven’t clicked through, we urge you to check it out. Written by Randy Leonard, a longtime reporter on energy and environment issues, the blog will track several issues of direct interest to readers of The Container, including the fossil fuel supply, energy infrastructure and gas taxes. Full story

July 14, 2014

New Health Policy Blog: Healthopolis

CQ Roll Call has launched Healthopolis, another Policy Pulse blog to join Five by Five, Technocrat and The Container. Written by Paul Jenks, it will be a platform for health policy news “from the capital and beyond.” Jenks has already posted at least one item of potential interest to readers of The Container, about how the Senate Finance patch for the Highway Trust Fund includes an expansion of the IRS’s authority to go after tax delinquent Medicare providers and suppliers.

June 16, 2014

Welcome to The Container

curry 001 061314 445x298 Welcome to The ContainerWelcome to CQ Roll Call’s latest Policy Pulse blog, The Container, which will report on transportation policy and regulation — from railroad safety to car-sharing services to tolls on highways — and, of course, we’ll track the latest twists and turns in the efforts by Congress to replenish the depleted Highway Trust Fund or find an alternative way to pay for highways and other infrastructure.

If you follow transportation policy — or if you simply travel — we aim to offer insights into how Congress, federal regulatory agencies and all levels of government oversee the business of getting goods and people safely and efficiently from Los Angeles to New York, or from exurb to center city.

We’ll also keep an eye on the nation’s ports and how our infrastructure either helps or hobbles America’s trade with the rest of the world.

If you fly, walk, bike, take the bus, or you’re just a homebody who never budges from your living room but wonders how your tax dollars are being used for transportation, we’ll explain how transportation policy makes a difference in your life.

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