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July 31, 2017 12:30 PM, EDT
Capitol Agenda for the Week of July 31: 'Super Bowl of Safety'
pre-trip inspection John Sommers II for Transport Topics

Next week, hundreds of truck drivers will make a stop in Orlando, Fla., to vie for the title of grand champion at the 80th annual National Truck Driving Championships. The immensely popular event known as the “Super Bowl of Safety” celebrates the contributions of accident-free truckers. It entails navigating a course without knocking down obstacles, acing a written test and conducting perfect pre-trip inspections on various classes of trucks. The event also helps lift the spirits of commercial drivers. As Ina Daly, a Phoenix-based trucker competing this year with XPO Logistics explained, “You chose trucking as your career. Wouldn’t you want to make it a priority in your life? Don’t you want to be the best you can be at what you chose to do, and, you know, your life depends on it, and the lives of other people on the road with you. So stepping up your game, learning all you can learn about your profession, it’s just going to benefit you forever, and your career.”

The truckers’ “Super Bowl” hardly garners headlines in the same way as accidents in which trucks had been involved. And truckers’ contributions to safety are almost never in mainstream movies. Hollywood often depicts truckers as nocturnal menaces. We agree a few bad apples manage to find their way into the industry, which is true in every profession. The Senate Commerce Committee on Aug. 2 will take steps to rid the industry of truckers found guilty of taking part in human trafficking. An ideal follow-up to such hearings would be floor speeches recognizing the National Truck Driving Championships.

THE WEEK AHEAD (all times EDT):

Aug. 1, 10 a.m.: The Senate Superfund, Waste Management and Regulatory Oversight Subcommittee holds a hearing on the U.S. EPA's superfund program.

Aug. 2, 9 a.m.: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, addresses reporters at an event hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

Aug. 2, 10 a.m.: The Senate Commerce Committee will consider legislation aimed at preventing human trafficking.

Aug. 2, 10 a.m.: The Brookings Institution presents “Procedure and Politics in the 115th Congress,” with Norm Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute; and Richard Rubin, tax policy reporter at The Wall Street Journal.

Aug. 4, 9:30 a.m.: The National Press Club hosts an event titled: “Can We Talk: Starting the Conversation.” It will feature Billy House, congressional reporter at Bloomberg; and John Donnelly, senior writer at CQ Roll Call.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

CSA: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will host a public meeting Sept. 8 to allow industry stakeholders to share their views for improving a safety performance scoring program for carriers. 

AMAZON: Amazon.com reminded investors that luring shoppers from stores and dominating the cloud-computing industry isn’t cheap. 

DELANEY: One of the top advocates for infrastructure funding on Capitol Hill, Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), announced he is running for president, a move that gives him time to build national name recognition. 

BUZZ:

The agenda for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s electronic logging device implementation tour will be released this week, sources tell us.

WHAT WE’RE READING:

Laura Bliss in CityLab breaks down the lawsuit against the Trump administration’s infrastructure advisory board (“Surprise! Trump’s infrastructure advisers stand to benefit”).

FAVORITE QUOTE:

“We’re going to be back in September, and, you know, you’re going to have crazy people in the House.”

— Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), ranking member of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, speaking to subcommittee Chairwoman Susan Collins (R-Maine), on July 25. The conversation was captured via a hot mic. 

FAVORITE VIDEO:

On The Daily Show, Lewis Black “celebrates” the country’s passing grade in infrastructure.

 

FAVORITE TWEET:

Deron Lovaas with the Natural Resources Defense Council highlighted the Senate’s TIGER boost.

Thank you for reading Capitol Agenda. We publish weekly when Congress is in session. E-mail emulero@ttnews.com with tips. Follow @eugenemulero and @transporttopics on Twitter.