transportation

FAA Nominee Faces Questions Over Boeing at Confirmation Hearing

Stephen Dickson, nominee to be administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, testifies during his confirmation hearing in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Former Delta Air Lines executive Stephen Dickson told lawmakers he would review the system used by the Federal Aviation Administration to certify the safety of aircraft and over-reliance on automation by pilots if he is confirmed to lead the agency.

“I would never certify an airplane I wouldn’t put my family on,” Dickson told lawmakers at the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, where he appeared Wednesday for his confirmation hearing.

Trump asks Congress to shift project funds to states he needs to win in 2020
Great Lakes, Everglades restoration initiatives make list as request heads to Hill

President Donald Trump greets supporters during a rally at the Van Andel Arena on March 28 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. On Monday, Trump asked Congress to shift project funds to swing states he needs to win for a 2020 victory. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

President Trump’s Monday tweets about plussing up accounts for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, an Everglades project and a NASA moon mission were codified in an amendment to his fiscal 2020 budget request sent to Congress the same day.

Also requested is nearly $20 million more for the Special Olympics.

Why Trump, Chuck and Nancy face huge hurdles in infrastructure spending plan
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 109

The Washington Monument can be seen as traffic travels over the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge April 13, 2015. The bridge is one of 61,000 bridges across America that the Department of Transportation said were structurally deficient and in need of repair. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Scooter commuters of Capitol Hill, take note
Electric scooters have become a ‘safety and security concern’ for Capitol Police

Electric scooters are raising safety and security concerns on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Electric scooters have been on the scene in Washington for more than a year, but they’re starting to raise safety and security concerns on Capitol Hill.

The two-wheelers have grown in popularity as a commuting option for congressional staffers, tourists and other visitors, especially as the weather warms up. Rep. Vicky Hartzler tweeted out her observation that scooters may be rivaling bikes in terms of two-wheeled transport.

Schumer: Gas tax hike should be tied to 2017 tax cut rollback
Democrats seek a plan going beyond highways, tackling clean energy and making infrastructure resilient to climate change

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., arrive for a new conference in the Capitol about a continuing resolution to re-open the government on January 25, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 6:50 p.m. | Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer wants President Donald Trump to consider rolling back parts of his signature 2017 tax cuts as a condition for advancing legislation to raise the federal fuel tax, according to a person close to the New York Democrat, a demand that will complicate efforts to pass a comprehensive infrastructure bill before the 2020 elections.

“Unless President Trump considers undoing some of the 2017 tax cuts for the wealthy,” the person said, “Schumer won’t even consider a proposal from the president to raise the gas tax, of which the poor and working people would bear the brunt.”

Sarah Sanders lashes out at Democrats, April Ryan over calls for her firing
Embattled Trump spokeswoman calls Dems' reaction to Mueller report ‘sad,’ wants to ‘move on’

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday criticized author and journalist April Ryan, seen here at a book-launch event in September in New York, for calling for her ouster. The Mueller report detailed times in which Sanders lied to reporters, prompting Ryan's call. (Robin Marchant/Getty Images file photo)

Newly embattled White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday lashed out at congressional Democrats and reporter April Ryan as President Donald Trump and his team began their first week following release of Robert S. Mueller III’s report.

Democratic lawmakers wasted little time Thursday calling for her ouster following the special counsel’s report that detailed several instances in which Sanders misled reporters, especially about Trump’s decision-making before he fired then-FBI Director James Comey. Ryan, an American Urban Radio Networks reporter who provides analysis for CNN, followed that night by calling for the same during an appearance on the network’s “Outfront” program.

Chao defends delayed 737 Max decision, to House appropriators
The FAA’s handling of the crash raises questions about how the agency operates

Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao arrives for the Senate Appropriations Committee Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the proposed Transportation Department budget for FY2020 on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao defended to House appropriators the administration’s decision not to immediately ground the Boeing 737 Max after an Ethiopian Airlines crash last month, even as other countries did so right away.

While Chao was appearing before the House Transportation-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee to defend the administration’s budget request for her agency, Chairman David E. Price, D-N.C., and ranking member Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., both said they wanted to understand more about the Federal Aviation Administration's process for certifying the model of the Boeing plane.

Klobuchar declares trillion-dollar infrastructure plan is her top 2020 policy priority
Cites 2007 collapse of Minnesota’s I-35W bridge in pushing bigger federal transportation package than Trump

Rescue workers and a dive team work off a barge after a section of the I-35W bridge collapsed in August 2007 in Minneapolis. The eight lane steel and concrete bridge spanning the Mississippi River near the city's downtown was undergoing repair work, when it collapsed during the evening rush hour. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced Thursday that she would make a trillion-dollar infrastructure package her top legislative priority if she were to win the presidency in 2020.

The Minnesota Democrat’s proposal, which her campaign outlined Thursday morning, would include over $650 billion in direct federal spending on an assortment of public works projects (not just highways and bridges). And the Klobuchar is trying to draw a contrast with the on-again-off-again infrastructure plans of President Donald Trump.

FAA administrator defends decisions on Boeing 737 Max
Dennis K. Elwell faced sharp questions from senators from both parties at Wednesday hearing

A Boeing 737 Max 8 airliner takes off from Renton Municipal Airport near the company’s factory, on March 22, 2019 in Renton, Washington. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration defended his decision to wait three days after a deadly crash in Ethiopia before ordering all Boeing 737 Max jets grounded, but he refused to divulge whether President Donald Trump had asked him to do so.

Acting FAA Administrator Dennis K. Elwell faced sharp questions Wednesday from senators in both parties at a Commerce, Science and Transportation subcommittee hearing about the grounding decision and the FAA’s certification of the 737 Max planes, especially the agency’s process that allows manufacturers to self-certify compliance with safety requirements.

Asked about gas tax, Chao says ‘nothing is off the table’
Transportation secretary also says the Trump administration has ‘learned from the past’

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao indicated there could be support from the White House for higher gas taxes as she fielded questions at a Senate Transportation-HUD appropriations subcommittee meeting on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said Wednesday that the administration “has learned from the past” that it should consult with Congress before proposing an infrastructure plan, but stopped short of saying when consultations would start.

Appearing before the Senate’s Transportation-HUD appropriations subcommittee, Chao indicated there could be support from the White House for higher gas taxes and fees on airplane tickets, but she also renewed the administration’s call to cut red tape in project approvals and find ways to attract private-sector funding from pension funds and endowments.