'Casually open border?' DeFazio questions FMCSA's intention

By Jami Jones, senior editor | Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Recent moves by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to proceed with a cross-border trucking program have raised some red flags with Rep. Peter DeFazio.

The Democrat from Oregon has called into question the agency’s lack of compliance with statutory mandates that restricts implementation of a long-haul cross-border trucking program.

DeFazio outlined his concerns in a letter to FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro.

He pointed out that Congress required the Office of Inspector General to audit FMCSA's readiness to enforce compliance with U.S. safety rules and regulations before the agency could initiate a pilot program – as outlined in Section 6901 or Public Law 110-28. The law requires FMCSA to take action to address any issues raised by the IG and to report to Congress on the measures taken, DeFazio reminded Ferro.

The recent audit released by the Inspector General outlined number of areas where the agency lacked full compliance. In order to proceed with the program, the agency is required to report to Congress on the outlined shortcomings.

DeFazio reminded Ferro that FMSCA has not sent a report to Congress or otherwise communicated plans to address the issues identified by the IG.

“Yet the agency is moving full speed ahead,” DeFazio wrote. “Proceeding with the processing of Mexican carriers’ applications on a separate track from meeting any requirements the agency believes apply to the pilot program confirms that FMCSA intends for this pilot program to casually terminate and morph into an open border.

“This flies in the face of the limitation enacted by Congress.”

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