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Leaders at the National Association of Manufacturers argued the incoming administration would be better prepared to address concerns regarding the economy, national security and the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines via a collaborative process between President Donald Trump’s outgoing team and President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming personnel.
NAM insisted industry stakeholders remain focused on avoiding disruptions to the freight supply chain during the coronavirus pandemic. Over the years, the group has urged policymakers to dedicate greater funding to build and repair transportation mobility grids, and expand access to broadband.
As of Transport Topics’ publishing deadline, the General Services Administration had yet to formally issue a procedural ascertainment regarding the winner of the presidential contest. Lacking such administrative formality from the agency limits Biden’s access to certain data and personnel in the current administration.
According to Shelley Dellinger of Cargo Transporters and Alphonso Lewis, ATA’s Road Team Captain and YRC Freight driver, diversity in recruitment methods is essential. Hear a snippet, above, and get the full program by going to RoadSigns.TTNews.com.
“It’s imperative that our nation has a president and advisers who are fully prepared to lead our nation on Inauguration Day [Jan. 20] given the magnitude of the challenges ahead and the threats to our economic and national security, and most importantly, to the public health. It is highly appropriate that the Trump administration allow key individuals from the Biden team to access critical government personnel and information now,” Jay Timmons, CEO of NAM, said on Nov. 18 in a joint statement with Trane Technologies CEO and NAM board Chairman Mike Lamach, Dow CEO and NAM board Vice Chairman Jim Fitterling, BTE Technologies President and NAM Small and Medium Manufacturers Chairman Chuck Wetherington and Protolabs CEO and NAM Small and Medium Manufacturers Vice Chairwoman Vicki Holt.
“To ensure manufacturers can continue to work seamlessly with the federal government — no matter who is president on Jan. 20 — we call on the administrator of the General Services Administration to sign the letter of ascertainment immediately so that this consistent process in American democracy can begin and the exchange of critical information can commence,” the NAM executives added.
The Biden-Harris transition team has kicked off mapping out its policy agenda. On transportation and infrastructure affairs, its transportation advisory group intends to craft a plan that would facilitate a shift from traditional infrastructure planning to a climate change-centric approach to connectivity and sustainability.
Earlier this month, the transition team indicated that Biden had discussed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) strategies for creating union jobs via investments in infrastructure, manufacturing and clean energy.
When reached by TT, the transition team’s senior transportation members declined further comment.
The Biden-Harris transportation team is led by Phillip Washington with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Other members include Austin Brown with the University of California-Davis, David Cameron with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Florence Chen with Generate, Brendan Danaher with the Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO, Paul Kincaid with the Association of Former Members of Congress, Therese McMillan with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Polly Trottenberg with the New York City Department of Transportation.
Meanwhile, during the post-election lame duck session of Congress, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have not ruled out approving a new round of COVID-19 emergency aid.
On Nov. 18, the Speaker told reporters, “At least now with the prospect — the promise of a vaccine — [Republicans] might want to implement some of the things that take us down that path.”
McConnell, critical of the House-passed multitrillion dollar package, recently affirmed, “Republicans stand ready to deliver this urgent aid. Let’s fund all the programs where there is not even real disagreement. Let’s do it now.”
He added: “We just need Democrats to finally get serious about this.”
Last month, a Republican-led measure that would have provided more than $500 billion for certain sectors did not advance in the Senate. The Republican-led Senate also has not scheduled consideration of a $2 trillion House-passed package.
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