June 11, 2019 2:00 PM, EDT

House Transportation Authorizers Dive Into Trucking Policy June 12

ATA President Chris SpearAmerican Trucking Associations President Chris Spear will be among the witnesses testifying before the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit on June 12. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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This week on Capitol Hill, trucking policy will have its moment in the spotlight. The House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit on June 12 will review the full spectrum of issues within an industry responsible for transporting a significant portion of the country’s freight. (Watch live, 10 a.m. EDT)

Eugene Mulero


As the saying goes, if you got it, a truck brought it. That industry motto will be one of several economic themes emphasized at the hearing.

Expect lawmakers also to bring up electronic logging devices, hours-of-service rules, driver training and retention, drug testing, California’s meal-and-rest-break rules, the size and weight of trucks, underride guards, truck parking, international border crossings and autonomous vehicles.

American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear will join a field of witnesses that includes Cathy Chase, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety; Todd Spencer, president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association; LaMont Byrd with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Jason Craig, director of government affairs at C.H. Robinson; Rodney Noble, senior director for transportation global procurement at PepsiCo; Deputy Chief Mark Savage with the Colorado Highway Patrol representing the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and Andy Young, a truck safety advocate.

The stakeholders’ input likely will be used to shape the freight title of the reauthorization of a 2015 highway law that expires next year.

The Week Ahead (all times Eastern)

June 11, 8 a.m.: The Economic Club of Washington, D.C., hosts a discussion on mobility, autonomous vehicles, and aerial ride-sharing, as well as the recent initial public offering of Uber.

Mick Mulvaney


June 11, 8 a.m.: The Peter G. Peterson Foundation hosts the 2019 Fiscal Summit: Building America’s Future. Speakers include acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.).

June 11, 10 a.m.: The House Budget Committee meets for a hearing titled, “The Costs of Climate Change: Risks to the U.S. Economy and the Federal Budget.”

June 11, 10 a.m.: The House Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee meets for a hearing titled, “Efficiency and Resiliency in Federal Building Design and Construction.”

June 12, 10 a.m.: The House Highways and Transit Subcommittee meets to review trucking policy.

Mood Swings

With the House sticking to its 24/7 Mueller Time vibe and the Senate kicking it legislative graveyard style, infrastructure policy has caught a case of them summertime blues.


In Case You Missed It

Again and again, people rediscover that traffic congestion is bad for business.

Who’s New (Amazonification edition):

Ask most real estate agents in the Washington metropolitan area about Amazon’s arrival in Northern Virginia, and chances are they’ll stare at you with a big smile before launching into a five minute soliloquy about the “Amazon Effect.” The real estate community, for the most part, expects an influx of new residents and workers to transform the no-longer-sleepy corporate enclave of Crystal City in Arlington, Va. into a quasimegapolis. Notwithstanding the potential economic benefits, a likely increase in the area’s cost of living might pave the way for gentrification. That warning has been expressed by the nation’s capital nonvoting member of Congress, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), chairwoman of the Highways and Transit Subcommittee.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (Oversight Committee via YouTube)

“Everybody has Amazon fever, and I can understand it. That has largely and only to do with the jobs. They also believe that it will force the jurisdictions to do some of what they should be doing anyway” with regards to bus rapid transit,” Holmes Norton told Transport Topics earlier this year. “The other side of the story, which I’m sure you’ll hear about as well, is gentrification. And, it does seem to me that, I should say, more of that is unavoidable ’cause it’s already happening here in the District and throughout the region. I’m not sure we should blame it all on Amazon.”


It’s time to update the old Rolodex. A few senior aides have either left the Hill or intend to depart in the near future for opportunities on the presidential campaign trail.

Favorite Video

Some people build walls. Others commit themselves to building bridges.

Favorite Tweet

The collapse of negotiations on a $2 trillion infrastructure measure between President Trump and Speaker Pelosi has not deterred several industry stakeholders. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is among the groups keeping that Infrastructure Week flame burning.


The Last Word

I think more aid to Central America is a good thing to try to help stabilize those economies in ways that are good because they’re our neighbors.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) on CBS’ “Face The Nation” on June 9

Roy Blunt

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