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March 19, 2018 1:45 PM, EDT

Capitol Agenda for the Week of March 19: Listening in Louisville

MATS 2017 2017 Mid-America Trucking Show by John Sommers II for Transport Topics

Trucking regulators this week are scheduled to take time to hear directly from the men and women who drive commercial trucks and keep the economy humming.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration officials will host a listening session, as well as several panels, at the 47th Mid-America Trucking Show at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

The listening session has traditionally been a forum for truckers to share in-depth accounts with valuable perspective about the challenges they encounter on the nation’s roadways. Parking, congestion and hours-of-service rules have dominated the discussions in past years.

The listening session is scheduled for March 23 at 1:30 p.m., while panels focusing on the electronic logging device rule will be held March 22 and 23. Another panel on hours-of-service policy is scheduled for March 24.

Last week, FMCSA announced an additional 90-day temporary waiver from the ELD rule for agriculture-related transportation. “The point of issuing that 90-day waiver is for us to really continue to work on our outreach communication with the ag community to make sure they have the fullest understanding that they can of the rule and all of the requirements of the regulation,” said Joe DeLorenzo, director of FMCSA’s office of compliance and enforcement. He is scheduled to participate on the panels.

Organizers expect about 75,000 attendees and more than 1,000 exhibitors at the three-day show. Besides seminars, the expo will feature exhibits by Kenworth Truck Co., Peterbilt Motors Co. and Mack Trucks Inc. It also will include media conferences, networking sessions, investor meetings, concerts, amazing cuisine and receptions. If you’re in the Louisville area, be sure to stop by.

THE WEEK AHEAD: (all times EDT)

March 20, 9 a.m.: The Road to Zero Coalition meets at the National Transportation Safety Board conference center. FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez is scheduled to attend.

March 20, 9:30 a.m.: The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee hosts Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for a review of the president’s fiscal 2019 budget request.

March 21, 8:30 a.m.: The Hill newspaper hosts Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and Democratic Reps. Nanette Barragan of California and Joseph Crowley of New York at the Newseum.

March 21, 11 a.m.: The House Small Business Committee holds a hearing titled “American Infrastructure and the Small Business Perspective.”

March 21, 2 p.m.: The House National Security Subcommittee holds a hearing titled “Bureaucratic Challenges to Hurricane Recovery in Puerto Rico.”

March 22, 2 p.m.: U.S. DOT Undersecretary for Policy Derek Kan is scheduled to deliver keynote remarks at the American Enterprise Institute.

March 23, 10 a.m.: The Brookings Institution hosts a discussion on “The Promise of Smart Transportation Networks.”

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

ELDs: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced an additional 90-day temporary waiver from the electronic logging device rule for agriculture-related transportation.

‘RAPID FIRE’: The prevalence of e-commerce will intensify the need for good neighborhood roads in addition to well-fortified interstates, according to an executive with third-party logistics provider C.H. Robinson.

FIVE GUYS: Congress did not come any closer to resolving key funding questions about President Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure proposal, even after five Cabinet secretaries testified before a Senate panel March 14.

BUZZ:

Multiple transportation policy matters are being debated as part of the omnibus discussions, several aides told Transport Topics. Stand by for updates.

WHAT WE’RE READING:

Curtis Tate spotlights a bridge in New Jersey awarded a TIGER grant. “A crumbling concrete highway bridge in North Bergen — built in 1929, the year of the very first Academy Awards — got its close-up Friday as a symbol of New Jersey’s aging infrastructure,” he wrote. 

FAVORITE QUOTE:

If we put it on the floor, we’d get 85 votes for it.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) to reporters March 14 explaining the support an autonomous vehicles legislation has in the chamber

Sen. John Thune

FAVORITE VIDEO:

In memoriam.

FAVORITE TWEET:

Crumbling infrastructure.

Thanks for reading Capitol Agenda. We publish Tuesdays when Congress is in session. E-mail emulero@ttnews.com with tips. Follow us @eugenemulero and @transporttopics.