Capitol Agenda for the Week of Dec. 17: Thanks for the Memories, 2018

The author writes out a thank-you note
The author writes out a thank-you note.

With the end of the year finally upon us, we take a page from late-night TV host Jimmy Fallon and fill out a few ‘thank you’ notes:

  • Thank you, National Truck Driving Championships winner Scott Woodrome of FedEx Freight, and the rest of the event’s participants, for striving for excellence in safety, and aiming to perfect the skills of your craft. And, thank you to truck drivers who work long hours to keep the economy moving.
  • Thank you, outgoing U.S. House Transportation panel Chairman Bill Shuster, for drilling into our heads the name and words from “father of capitalism” Adam Smith. As you sought to advance legislation, you were compelled to quote Smith nearly weekly during your chairmanship.
  • Thank you, security officials at airports and other points of entry. Our travel experience is safer, and more enjoyable, because of your daily efforts. Keep it up.
  • Thank you, transportation stakeholders, for staying consistent with your message to policymakers for long-term funding for infrastructure maintenance and construction projects around the country.
  • Thank you, staff members at freight hubs and ports nationwide, for ensuring that our goods are organized and arranged safely and promptly for delivery.
  • Thank you, journalists who report on transportation policy. Whether it’s on the radio, television or online, you help inform the public about the mobility and connectivity around us.

And, thank you, Transport Topics readers, for your support. Looking forward to your feedback as we bring you coverage of freight transportation and infrastructure funding policy in 2019. To you, we say:

THE WEEK AHEAD (all times EST):

Dec. 18, 9 a.m.: The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s Voluntary Information-Sharing System working group meets to review proposed recommendations.

Dec. 19, noon: U.S. EPA hosts a teleconference of the Good Neighbor Environmental Board to examine and approve the board’s annual letter to the president.

Dec. 19, 1 p.m.: House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is scheduled to deliver his farewell address.

Dec. 19, 2 p.m.: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Unified Carrier Registration Plan board of directors’ audit subcommittee meets to review the development and implementation of the Unified Carrier Registration plan and agreement.

Dec. 19, 2:30 p.m.: Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell participates in a news conference after a Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

Dec. 21: Federal funding authority expires.



Quinton Ward and his service dog Kirra check out Ward's new Kenworth T680.

WERNER WINNER: Quinton Ward of New Orleans, who served five years in the U.S. Army until he was injured and received an Honorable Discharge, is the winner of the 2018 Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program.

HELPING TO HONOR: With the help of ATA Share the Road drivers and thousands of volunteers, more than 250,000 wreaths were delivered and laid on headstones the morning of Dec. 15 at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT: The nation’s motor carriers and their drivers see different priorities when it comes to issues facing the trucking industry, a new ATRI study found.


Expectations are low for autonomous vehicles legislation to advance in the Senate this month.


A bridge in New York needs to be repaired. Is the better solution to just tear it down?


The Democrat Party has a simple choice. They can either choose to fight for America’s working class or to promote illegal immigration. You can’t do both.

— Stephen Miller, senior adviser to President Donald Trump, on “Face the Nation” Dec. 16.



Resiliency of assets.



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