ITS America Government Affairs Update

Government Affairs Update

After a month of negotiations, House and Senate conferees have exchanged draft proposals but continue to struggle to reach an agreement on a multi-year transportation reauthorization bill.  While conference committee members continue to work toward an agreement, accusations are starting to fly including top Democrats accusing Republicans of stonewalling in order to “sabotage the economy” and harm President Obama’s re-election chances, and top Republicans accusing Democrats of opposing job-creating measures like the Keystone XL pipeline.  Many observers are questioning whether House Speaker John Boehner’s suggestion of another six-month extension signals a breakdown in the discussions, while Boehner insists his preference is still for a multi-year bill and that he has “a lot of confidence in the members on the conference.”  ITS America will continue to monitor the negotiations and pass along information as it becomes available.


Join ITS America for Breakfast with Senator Johnny Isakson – Next Tuesday

ITS America is pleased to announce that U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the former senior Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, will be our Congressional Roundtable speaker next Tuesday, June 19 from 8:00 – 9:00AM.  The breakfast will take place in Room 188 of the Russell Senate Office BuildingPlease RSVP to Paul Feenstra if you would like to attend at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by phone at 202-721-4237.


U.S. DOT Issues‘ Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Thursday released a “Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving” which offers a comprehensive strategy to address the use of handheld cell phones behind the wheel.  The plan outlines concrete steps stakeholders around the country – from lawmakers and safety organizations to families and younger drivers – can take to reduce the risk posed by distracted driving.  While unveiling the plan, Secretary LaHood also announced $2.4 million in federal support for California and Delaware that will expand the Department’s “Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other” pilot enforcement campaign to reduce distracted driving.  Recognizing the extent and complexity of the problem, the blueprint:

  • Encourages the remaining 11 states without distracted driving laws to enact and enforce this critical legislation;
  • Challenges the auto industry to adopt new and future guidelines for technology to reduce the potential for distraction on devices built or brought into vehicles;
  • Partners with driver education professionals to incorporate new curriculum materials to educate novice drivers of driver distraction and its consequences; and
  • Provides all stakeholders with actions they can take that go beyond personal responsibility to helping end distracted driving nationwide.


Connected Vehicles in the News 

Connected Vehicle technology has been receiving lots of news coverage lately thanks to the great work of U.S. DOT, major automakers, and numerous other ITS America members and partners.  A sampling of recent news coverage is below:


For more information or to become a member of the Congressional Roundtable, contact Paul Feenstra at 202-721-4237 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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