2003 In Review: Washington

2003 In Review: Washington

Copyright 2003, Traffic World, Inc.



Anti-terror measures fill the regulatory agenda but an impasse on highway funding creates insecurity

JANUARY

-- Shippers howl in protest over the U.S. Customs Service''s proposed rules for advance shipment notification.

-- A presidential commission begins reviewing proposals for postal reform.



FEBRUARY

-- President Bush proposes 6 percent increase in transportation spending, asking for $53.3 billion for the DOT.

-- Customs begins enforcing the 24-hour advance notice rule on ocean imports.

-- With its "strawman" proposal on advance notification for all modes a bust, Customs pledges to draft new versions.



MARCH

-- DOT gets smaller as the Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Coast Guard moves to the Department of Homeland Security. Customs moves to DHS.

-- Congress begins work on an airline bailout package.

-- Customs releases a second draft of advance shipment notice rules, pushing the time for notification back several hours.

-- The Senate Commerce Committee passes a bill to require the federal government to establish cargo inspection system.



APRIL

-- Linda Morgan leaves the STB.

-- Congress passes a package to aid the troubled airline industry.

-- Under a directive from Congress, a DOT administrative law judge is assigned to review the corporate citizenship of DHL Airways.



MAY

-- DOT produces its version of a highway bill that would spend $247 billion on roads and calls the package SAFETEA.

-- The Food and Drug Administration jumps into the security effort, proposing its own advance shipment notification rules.

-- House members form the Goods Movement Caucus to raise the profile of freight transportation issues.



JUNE

-- Hearings on the citizenship case of DHL Airways begin.

-- Transportation interest groups form the State Highway Safety Alliance to lobby for highway bill.

-- Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta says DOT supports raising foreign ownership limits on airlines.



JULY

-- Customs further refines its advance notification rules.

-- TSA begins training passenger pilots to carry guns in the cockpit.



AUGUST

-- Citing the personal toll of public service DOT Deputy Secretary Michael Jackson steps down as the No. 2 official in the department. DOT Counsel Kirk Van Tine is nominated to replace him.

-- Attacked by DHL, Administrative Law Judge Ronnie Yoder removes himself from as judge in the citizenship investigation.



SEPTEMBER

-- Unable to resolve a gap of tens of billions of dollars between the differing versions of a highway bill now called TEA-21, Congress passes a six-month extension of the existing spending plan.

-- The Senate ratifies the Hague Protocol on international air shipments, overhauling liability on shipping by air.

-- Congress turns its attention to air cargo security as Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., introduces a bill that would require the physical inspection of all shipments going on passenger planes.



OCTOBER

-- The FDA releases "interim final" bioterrorism advance notification rule.

-- Customs says its advance notification rules are delayed.

-- Praising the job Adm. James Loy has done in redirecting the TSA, the administration nominates Loy to the No. 2 post at TSA.

-- Launching a highly unusual attack, FedEx publicly opposes Kirk Van Tine as nominee for the No. 2 job at DOT.



NOVEMBER

-- House Transportation leaders introduce their $375 billion highway bill, adding some $130 billion to other plans.

-- Customs releases its advance notification rules.

-- TSA releases its air cargo security plan, calling for random inspections and putting the financial burden on the industry.

-- A Senate committee approves the Van Tine nomination, but the full Senate does not consider his name.

-- Senate passes a bill allowing cargo pilots to be armed.



DECEMBER

-- The Customs and FDA advance notice rules takes effect.

-- David M. Stone becomes the acting TSA administrator.

-- Kirk Van Tine''s nomination dies with Congress'' adjournment but the administration hands him the job temporarily with an acting appointment.