September 24, 2018 3:00 PM, EDT

Capitol Agenda for the Week of Sept. 24: Here's What Makes Autumn Awesome

ATA President Chris Spear at 2017 MCEATA President Chris Spear addresses attendees at 2017 Management Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Fla. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

Autumn’s arrival means that football is on the tube, Saturday Night Live will kick off a new season, and your favorite transportation groups will host their end-of-the-year conferences.

American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference & Exhibition, for instance, will feature the highly anticipated state of the industry address, to be delivered by federation President Chris Spear. The must-watch address helps to set the tone for the industry’s priorities for the following year and recaps the group’s up-to-date accomplishments. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration chief Ray Martinez also is scheduled to attend.

FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez


The trucking regulator is likely to touch on the agency’s plans for guidelines on automated technology as well as discuss hours-of-service regulations and electronic logging devices. Speaking with Transport Topics in August, Martinez explained ELDs were a congressional mandate, adding, “I do believe it’s going to have a good effect on improving safety.” ATA’s conference will be held in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 27-30.

The American Road and Transportation Builders Associations will rock out in the Big Apple on Sept. 30-Oct. 3. The roadbuilders will devote the focus of their conference on the potential long-term benefits associated with investing in resilient infrastructure. Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Stephen Flynn, founding director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University, and Mike Steep, executive director of Stanford University’s Global Projects Center’s Digital Cities and Emerging Technologies are scheduled speakers. Also scheduled for a keynote address will be Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

D.J. Gribbin


A couple of weeks after ARTBA, Gutierrez-Scaccetti is schedule to deliver keynote remarks at the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association conference in Baltimore on Oct. 14-16. The Garden State’s top transportation officer came to the position after serving as executive director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. The turnpike, a stretch of Interstate 95, features tolls. Also scheduled at IBTTA is D.J. Gribbin, the brains behind President Donald Trump’s infrastructure proposal.

Gribbin left the White House for a senior operating partnership at Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners. While at the White House, Gribbin championed public-private partnerships.

THE WEEK AHEAD: (all times EDT)

Sept. 25, 9 a.m.: The National Transportation Safety Board’s Office of Highway Safety hosts a meeting about safety concerns regarding pedestrians.

Sept. 25, 10 a.m.: Americans for Tax Reform hosts a book discussion on “Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride: The Thrills, Chills, Screams, and Occasional Blackouts of an Extraordinary Presidency.”

Sept. 26, 9:30 a.m.: The Commerce Department Bureau of Industry and Security hosts a meeting of the Transportation and Related Equipment Technical Advisory Committee.

Sept. 26, 10 a.m.: The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee meets for a hearing titled, “Cleaning Up the Oceans: How to Reduce the Impact of Man-Made Trash on the Environment, Wildlife, and Human Health?”

Sept. 26, 10:30 a.m.: The Senate Finance Committee hosts a hearing to evaluate the potential impact of tariffs on the U.S. auto industry. Scheduled to appear at the hearing are H. David Britt, chairman of economic development and Spartanburg County Council member; Steve Gates, dealer principal for the Gates Auto Family; Michael Haughey, CEO of the North American Stamping Group; Josh Nassar, legislative director for United Auto Workers; and Rick Schostek, executive vice president of Honda North America, Inc.

Sept. 26, 11 a.m.: The House Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee hosts a hearing titled, “Hidden in Plain Sight: Understanding Federal Efforts to Stop Human Trafficking.”

Sept. 26, 2:15 p.m.: The Senate Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee will discuss how to ensure the United States remains a key player in space navigation.

Sept. 26, 5:30 p.m.: CQ Roll Call previews the midterm elections. Speakers will include Ed Henry, national correspondent at Fox News, Bridget Bowman, senior political writer at CQ Roll Call, Jason Dick, deputy editor at CQ Roll Call, Nathan Gonzales, elections analyst at CQ Roll Call, and Simone Pathe, senior political writer at CQ Roll Call.

Rep. Sam Graves


Sept. 27, 7 a.m.: Republican Reps. Sam Graves of Missouri and Jeff Denham of California, as well as U.S. Department of Transportation undersecretary of transportation for policy Derek Kan are scheduled to discuss the merits of public-private partnerships at the Ripon Society.

Sept. 27, 10 a.m.: The Senate Judiciary Committee meets on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sept. 27, 10:45 a.m.: The National Press Club holds a news conference featuring House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

Sept. 27, 7 p.m.: Politics and Prose hosts Bob Woodward for a discussion about his book, “Fear: Trump in the White House.”

Sept. 30: Funding authority for the federal government expires.


THE HOURS: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended the period of comment for an advance notice of proposed rulemaking regarding hours of service for drivers hauling property.

H2O: The U.S. Senate is expected to take up as early as this month House-passed legislation that would authorize projects designed to improve infrastructure at ports, harbors and waterways, as well as boost flood protection programs.

‘C’ LEVEL: Kern County, California’s third largest by surface area, has earned an overall C on an infrastructure report card developed by the region’s American Society of Civil Engineers division.


To T-HUD or not to T-HUD? That’s the question for appropriators this week as they confront a Sept. 30 fiscal funding deadline.


The commerce secretary makes that paper


If you see me lying in a box with flowers around it, I am only thinking about it. I have a lot to do and a lot of energy.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue at the Christian Science Monitor breakfast Sept. 19, on whether he intends to retire.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue


Dude, Where’s My Car?


Si Se Puede

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