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— Lawmakers are again in D.C. after a monthlong break and so they have a full plate headlined by a looming appropriations deadline.
Story Continued Beneath
— The Trump administration has stepped up its offensive on automobile firms that sided with California over emissions requirements with a strongly worded letter from the EPA and DOT and by launching a DOJ investigation.
— The distant identification rule was delayed once more: Seven phrases the drone trade is sick of listening to.
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THEY’RE BAAACK: Lawmakers return to city at this time after greater than a month of mountaineering, baseball video games and leisure (OK, in all probability some city halls and manufacturing facility excursions, too) and there’s a ton on their plates relating to transportation.
Approps: The primary order of enterprise is appropriations. A seamless decision appears possible, given the quickly approaching Sept. 30 deadline, and POLITICO’s finances group has reported CR by late November or early December is within the works. In case you missed it, Professional’s Jennifer Scholtes talked to David Worth, who chairs the Home panel overseeing transportation spending, about what the subsequent few months will appear like, together with the talk over transportation coverage riders. Provisions that engender partisan division will likely be dropped from the invoice come convention time, he stated. The Senate will get to work this month introducing and marking up its 12 spending payments, together with Transportation-HUD.
Boeing: Transportation committees in each chambers are nonetheless wanting into two Boeing 737 MAX crashes and the FAA certification course of that allowed the airplane to enter into service. There have been whispers that Home and Senate members are engaged on laws to deal with FAA plane certification and it’s attainable payments may come out within the subsequent few months.
Floor transportation: The Senate has handed a floor transportation invoice by committee, and has tentatively deliberate a flooring vote for the autumn. The Home is way farther behind; Transportation Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) is planning to introduce his personal floor laws this winter. Arguably crucial work, although, will happen within the Senate Finance Committee, which is answerable for determining methods to pay for the Senate invoice. “Senate leaders on either side of the aisle have dominated out rising the fuel tax, the best and most blatant manner of elevating substantial funds for transportation,” our Tanya Snyder writes in her state-of-play story. However a Senate GOP aide instructed Tanya that passing the bold laws “does not really feel inconceivable, even given the hefty price ticket.” “The place Congress has a will to spend cash, it finds a manner,” the aide stated.
Driverless automobiles: Workers in each chambers are engaged on a sequel to the self-driving car laws that sputtered out on the finish of the final Congress. It’s unclear if we’ll see invoice textual content any time quickly, although, as lots of the points that sunk AV START have not been solved.
TRUMP’S WAR ON CAR COMPANIES: The administration is occurring the offensive towards a gaggle of 4 automakers which have teamed up with California to defy its gas effectivity guidelines, with DOJ opening an antitrust probe into the deal between California and Ford Motor Co., Honda, BMW and Volkswagen, Professional Vitality’s Zack Colman experiences. Basic counsels from DOT and EPA additionally warned that the deal seems to be “illegal and invalid,” per Professional’s Anthony Adragna. “In a letter to California Air Sources Board Chairman Mary Nichols, the companies warned of ‘authorized penalties’ if the state didn’t transfer instantly to ‘disassociate’ CARB from the commitments made by the automakers,” he writes.
Barb McQuade, a College of Michigan legislation professor, tweeted that the DOJ investigation “raises a crimson flag.” The Sherman Act “prohibits agreements for function or impact of limiting competitors, however DOJ can’t use antitrust legislation to derail deal solely to undermine Calif’s larger emissions requirements,” McQuade wrote.
What’s subsequent: POLITICO’s Alex Guillén and Daniel Lippman reported final week that the administration is contemplating finalizing a rule that will block California from implementing its personal strict greenhouse fuel emissions auto requirements.
FRUSTRATION IN DRONE INDUSTRY AS REMOTE ID PUSHED BACK AGAIN: Right here’s a well-known phrase for MT readers: The distant identification rule is delayed once more. The regulation governing drones, which is a gateway rule for a number of different essential rulemakings, has been pushed again to December, our Brianna Gurciullo experiences. Different aviation information from DOT’s important rulemakings report final week embody a proposed rule on drone flights round essential infrastructure, which was delayed to subsequent September, and an advance discover of proposed rulemaking on relaxation necessities for flight attendants, which is now anticipated subsequent month.
The drone trade expressed disappointment with the rule delay. “The necessity for distant identification can’t be overstated, because the development of the usindustry relies on figuring out and monitoring UAS flying within the airspace,” the Affiliation for Unmanned Automobile Techniques Worldwide stated in a press release. Brendan Schulman, a vice chairman at drone producer DJI, weighed in, too: “These delays are impeding essential options to safety and accountability challenges.”
Elsewhere, a proposed rule for a brand new analysis pilot on automated autos is anticipated subsequent January and one other on eradicating regulatory limitations to driverless automobiles is transferring ahead with a due date in August 2020, Tanya experiences. A vehicle-to-vehicle communications regulation, although, stays sidelined with no set publication date and no clarification for the delay.
CHINESE DRONE WORRIES HAVE NOT CROSSED THE ATLANTIC: Because the U.S. panics about China’s dominance within the world drone trade, Europe has “barely blinked,” POLITICO Europe’s Saim Saeed writes in a brand new story printed over the weekend. European governments and militaries are more and more turning to Chinese language drone producer DJI for his or her unmanned aviation wants. MT readers will know that U.S. officers, together with at DHS, have warned they do not belief DJI drones with delicate knowledge. In Europe, these worries are much less prevalent. “Nobody is definitely involved,” stated Ulrike Franke, a coverage fellow on the European Council on Overseas Relations.
DOT IG DINGS FRA: The DOT inspector basic stated in a report printed final week that the FRA ought to do a greater job using the info it collects on rail crossing accidents. As your MT host writes: “The company’s accident prediction method has not been up to date since 2013, the IG discovered, and the dearth of a complete information for crossing inspectors signifies that approaches range throughout the nation.”
ANOTHER TAKE ON TEXAS CENTRAL: Opponents of the Texas Central high-speed rail venture shot again on the firm’s announcement final week that the federal authorities was transferring ahead with the regulatory course of. “Within the 52-year historical past of the FRA, it has by no means granted a Rule of Explicit Applicability (RPA), and the method has not even been clearly outlined,” Texans Towards Excessive-Velocity Rail stated in a press release, noting the RPA is much from closing approval. “It now has to undergo a prolonged rule-making course of that primarily creates a regulatory carveout, or monopoly, particular to the Japanese Shinkansen HSR know-how, and there’s no time-frame for completion or assure of what the rule would require.”
SPOTTED: Workers from former President George W. Bush’s DOT held a reunion in D.C. over the weekend with the greater than 115 attendees, together with former Secretary Norman Mineta, Maria Cino, Michael Jackson, Jeffrey Rosen, Marion Blakey, Shane Karr, Husein Cumber, Quintin Kendall, DJ Gribbin, Nicole Nason, Roger Nober, Joel Szabat, Luke Frans, Wealthy Juliano and Sean O’Hollaren.
— “Former Boeing official subpoenaed in 737 MAX probe received’t flip over paperwork, citing Fifth Modification safety.” Seattle Occasions.
— “Boeing suspends load check for brand spanking new 777X plane.” Reuters.
— “Ship overturns close to Georgia port; four crew members lacking.” Related Press.
— “Tesla Mannequin S will tackle famed Nürburgring racetrack, Elon Musk says.” The Verge.
— “Sad together with your journey loyalty program? Be part of the gang.” Washington Publish.
DOT appropriations run out in 22 days. The FAA reauthorization expires in 1,484 days. Freeway and transit coverage is up for renewal in 389 days.