By Keith Laing, September 30, 2013
Presuming the government remains open for business on Oct. 1 — by no means a certainty — the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing about the U.S. freight rail system.
In preparation for forthcoming bills that authorize funding for rail and road and transit projects, the Transportation Committee’s Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation will hold a hearing to hear “perspectives from users of the nation’s freight system.”
The panel will hear from International Paper Vice President for Consumer Packaging Tom Kadien, DuPont Sustainability Manager F. Edmond Johnston III, Nucor Steel Berkeley Materials and Logistics Manager William Roberson and Riceland Foods Public Affairs Vice President Bill Reed.
The agency said it would not furlough air traffic controllers, but the potential shutdown could result in a delay in the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) decision on allowing airline passengers to keep their electronic devices on during flights.
The FAA had been planning to receive a recommendation from a committee it created to study the impact of electronic devices on airplane safety equipment.
However, the Transportation Department said on Friday that “aviation rulemaking” would be one of the FAA’s activities that would be suspended if the government is shut down on Oct. 1.
The FAA, which is the transportation department’s largest subsidiary, would go from 46,070 employees currently to 30,556 under the department's contingency plan. Outside of the Capitol, The Week magazine will hold a panel discussion on “America’s Infrastructure: Crisis or Opportunity?” on Oct. 3.
The Hill’s Keith Laing will be a member of the panel.