Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies, issued the following statement in response to today's announcement by the Bush Administration that it plans to open the U.S-Mexican border to long-haul cross border trucking.
"When the Bush Administration first proposed opening our border to long-haul Mexican trucks without adequate safety standards, it set off a firestorm in Congress. The Republican House of Representatives voted to prohibit cross-border trucking outright, and the Bush Administration threatened to veto that prohibition.
"In response, I authored a bipartisan compromise requiring dozens of new safety requirements to ensure that cross-border trucking would not pose a risk to the American public.
"The Bush Administration and Mexican authorities now maintain that they have fulfilled every one of these safety requirements. That remains to be seen. My subcommittee will hold a hearing on March 8th to investigate whether the Administration has fulfilled both the spirit and the letter of the law.
"I'm holding this hearing to find out if the Administration has really met the safety requirements that the law and the American people demand before long-haul Mexican trucks can travel across all our highways. International trade is a critical engine of our nation's economy, but safety must not be the victim when it comes to expanding trade with our partners."