October 25, 2014

Amtrak foe Mica meets his match

Amtrak Logo

I just sat through a pretty boring hearing on rail financing. But I’m glad I stuck it out, because the fireworks came at the end, when Rep. John Mica picked a fight with the wrong man. John Robert Smith is familiar face in transportation reform circles. The former Republican mayor of the town of Meridian, [...]

Proposed legislation spurs rail agreements

U.S. Capitol Building; Capitol Building; Washington D.C.

WASHINGTON — In the face of bipartisan get-tough-with-labor legislation introduced in the House and Senate, two of the remaining unions without national rail contracts agreed to a tentative settlement Dec. 1, and a third reached agreement with the carriers Dec. 1 to extend a cooling-off period into February. With these agreements, the threat of a national railroad [...]

FAA reauthorization: A Sisyphean struggle

propeller; airplane propeller

WASHINGTON – For more than four years, Congress has attempted, unsuccessfully, to pass a long-term commercial aviation funding bill to modernize airports and the national’s air traffic control system. Two sticking points this year in reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are an extension of the $200 million Essential Air Service program and a [...]

We’ll keep pressing to improve, protect

James Stem; Stem, James

By James StemUTU National Legislative Director January brings a new session of Congress and the start of state legislative sessions across the country. Our UTU legislative team in Washington and our state legislative directors will be on guard protecting the interests of our members. Two old UTU friends are in charge of key transportation committees [...]

Outgoing T&I chair fears political polarization

WASHINGTON — The outgoing chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee – Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), who was defeated in the Nov. 2 elections – fears increased polarization along party lines when the new Congress is seated in January. In an interview published by cnn.com, Oberstar, who was known to exert great effort to reach [...]