POTUS Supply Chain Task Force Meets with TIA
Last week, TIA met with officials from the newly announced Supply-Chain Task Force created by President Biden. The task force is focused on addressing the rising inflation through disruptions in the supply chain, the nation’s infrastructure needs, a more centralized data distribution amongst industry stakeholders and the federal government, and other key factors in the supply chain.
TIA leadership spoke about rising fraud in the supply chain and how that directly impacts inflation across the American economy. As the Wall Street Journal reported months ago, fraud costs the industry and consumers roughly $800 million annually. Additionally, TIA addressed the need to quickly promulgate the Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) rulemaking and how the lack of clarity of the motor carrier population, with 92% of carriers being unrated bogs down companies in their selection process, adding to supply chain delays. Finally, TIA spoke about the issue of rate intrusion and the need for the agency to not create more disruptions in the supply chain focused on freight rates and transactions, instead of FMCSA focusing on safety as their core mission.
TIA looks forward to continuing to work with the task force on addressing our nation’s supply chain needs and ensuring that the 3PL industry remains the center of the supply chain not only in the industry but within the administration as well.
FAA Extension Stymied by Senate
Sen. Michael Bennett (D-Colo) has threatened to deny a hot line unanimous consent request (Senate procedure to expedite votes on bills deemed non-controversial or too important to hold) and may place a hold on a short-term extension bill of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to keep the Senate in session to negotiate funding for Ukraine. The bill, H.R. 6503 (118th), would extend the FAA's authorization until March 8, 2024, preventing a lapse in FAA authorities when the current authorization expires at the end of the year.
Sen. Bennett is suspected to be using this tactic to press for action on funding for Ukraine and is trying to keep Congress in session as long as necessary to achieve this goal. While he does not have substantial objections to the FAA extension itself, he is using this procedural move to draw attention to the need for Ukraine funding.
Senate Republicans – as expected - are planning to make a unanimous consent request on the FAA extension, which would force Bennet to publicly object if he wishes to hold up the bill further. This move would ensure that FAA authorities do not lapse.
The House has already adjourned for an end-of-year break, so it is essential for the Senate to pass the short-term FAA bill before the Dec. 31 deadline to avoid any disruptions in FAA operations. The funding for Ukraine remains a contentious issue in Congress, and Bennet's hold is part of the broader political maneuvering surrounding these matters.
MTA to Send Congestion Tax to Public Comment
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) board voted 9-1 to advance a congestion pricing plan for public comment, bringing the landmark proposal closer to reality. The plan aims to reduce traffic in New York City by imposing new tolls, with most drivers entering Manhattan below 60th Street facing fees of $15 or more. However, there are ongoing discussions about possible changes to the plan.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has requested additional exemptions for taxis, and various stakeholders have been seeking adjustments to the proposal. New Jersey is also involved in a lawsuit seeking further exemptions for drivers crossing into New York. The MTA is planning to hold public hearings in early 2024, with the goal of implementing the tolls around May. Anti-price congestion advocates believe this effort will ultimately damage consumers as prices will have to hike to make up for the additional tax on drivers.