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National Transportation Commission Unveils Report Calling for a “New Beginning”


WASHINGTON, DC, January 15, 2008 — The National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission today released the results of its nearly two-year study, which calls for a “new beginning” to reform the nation’s transportation programs into a world-class system. During a press conference held at the National Press Club, the bipartisan national commission, chaired by Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters and vice-chaired by Covington & Burling LLP’s Jack Schenendorf, outlined a plan calling for bold changes in policies, programs and institutions to increase investment, demand accountability and focus on solving problems of traffic congestion, repairing an aging system and supporting robust U.S. economic and job growth.

“Our goal is to create and sustain the world’s pre-eminent surface transportation system,” Mr. Schenendorf said. “American families and businesses need a safer and more efficient transportation system to propel the nation’s economy, global competitiveness, environmental sustainability, and overall quality of life.”

The report calls for targeted funds to relieve metropolitan congestion, speed the movement of goods, reduce highway fatalities by half by 2025, and accelerate development of environmentally-friendly fuels. To achieve its goals, the Commission calls for significant new investment at the federal, state, and local levels, phased-in over time, with the federal fuel tax raised by a nickel each year for five years.

The Commission also calls for a fundamental restructuring of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the programs that it administers. The complete report can be accessed on the Commission’s website at

The Commission was created under Section 1909 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act - A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). Mr. Schenendorf was appointed to the Commission by former House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

At Covington, Mr. Schenendorf’s practice concentrates on transportation and legislation, with a particular focus on legislative strategy, legislative procedure, and the federal budget process. Prior to joining the firm in 2001, he served on the Bush/Cheney Transition as Chief of the Transition Policy Team for the Department of Transportation and other transportation-related agencies. Previously, Mr. Schenendorf served nearly 25 years on the staff of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the U.S. House of Representatives under seven different Republican Committee leaders. He was Chief of Staff from 1995 to 2001 when the 75-member committee - the largest in the history of the Congress - held 314 hearings and passed 265 bills through the House, of which 115 were enacted into law.

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