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Congressional Record, Daily Digest, House
Traffic Safety Act: By a record vote of 365 yeas the House agreed
Pages 21342, 21348-21354
NATIONAL TRAFFIC AND MOTOR
VEHICLE SAFETY ACT OF 1986 Mr. STAGGERS. Mr. Speaker, I call up the conference report on the bill (s. 3006) to provide for a coordinated national safety program and establishment of safety standards for motor vehicles in interstate commerce to reduce accidents involving motor vehicles and to reduce the deaths and injuries occurring in such accidents, and ask unanimous consent that the statement of the managers on the part of the House be read in lieu of the report.
The Clerk read the title of the bill.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objec. tion to the request of the gentleman from West Virginia?
There was no objection.
(For conference report and statement, sex proceedings of the Houses of Aug. 30, 1966.)
The SPEAKEP, pro tempore (Mr. sm). The gentleman from West Virginis (Mr. STAGGERS) is recognized for 1. hour.
Mr. STAGGERS. Mr. Speaker;' 1: stated when this legislation came before the House on August 17, the Committee on Interstate and Poreigr Commerce labored diligently over the proponed logo lalation and reported a good bille
I believe that in the door action: arn! Improvements were made.' The other body requested & conference and vo.went to conference last Wednando ind Thursday od mamber of politika hare counted 42 separata teeds
before the conference committee. RON of these were relatively minor but quite a number were entfonnt. The managers for the Senate roeded entral
on 87 Atamı. On another moves, they nuonded with minor modioation. The remo ondo dechat roomondong by the man arers for the Houn a the deat, I betten He would be nocurate to charnoterton woved a thin n mtnor.
I am not rating to unde r sto tako w time to ro through the notions of the contaremos committee 200 by ape. An at this to net forth in the contenendo it port and the statuencat al manager. However, to anphase may courtotion that the House is very momentul in this conference, I would like to single out a lot of the more important mibjoots which were diecunod and the notion watch me tako u to those important Items.
norarmos or voron van The House definition cover all vehiclan, including trucks and burns. The dedinition in the Senate version mus more restrictive and mas interpreted us not including trucks and busea. The manager for the Senate roceded.
MARCI A VEOMANT In the House verdon, the research and development provisons an mandatory rather than discretionary and they are aleo broader in scope than the Senate version. The managers for the Senate recoded.
The House provided for the developmant or need-car standards. The Senate Verdon oontained no comparable provisons. The managers for the Senate acoepted the House version.
THE FATIT The House version contained a separate and specinc title directed to tire safety standards. The Senate verton made no mention of tires although pas
be the House bin many important
O! course, contenir important
senger ar and station wagon tires had been dealt with in a separate bill. The managers for the Senate accepted the House version.
coxoxox LAW LIABILITY The House version contains a provision which specifically provides that compuance with Federal motor vehicle safety standards does not exempt any person from any Habiuty under common law. The Senate version had no comparable pmvisdon. The managers for the Senate accepted the House version.
NATIONAL TRATTIC SYSTY AGENCY The House version contains provisions creating a National Inmc Safety Agency, and requiring the appointment of an Administrator for 'hat Agency by the President. The Senate version had no comparable provisions. The managers for the Senate accepted the House verdon. NATIONAL Moma VEHICLE BATTY ADVISORY
COUNCIL The House version requires appointment of an Advisory Council to be made up of representatives of those Industries concerned, State and looal governmcata, and the general public. The Senate verHon has no comparable providon. The managers for the Senate, with some modidcations, sucopted the inclusion of an Advisory Council.
You can readily no from this briel summary that the managers for the House were able to maintain the position Of course, a conference requires are and take, but in my review of this conferunce, the only Item of any dentocance where the mannser for the House accepted the Senate verdoa is in section 106(C) waich provides information, wees, processes, patents, and other developments which result troma research which is supported by Federal funds will be made freely nad fully available to the reneral public.
I want to commend the memben al the conference as well as the members o the House Commerce Committee. In • spirit of helpfulness they have conscientiously welched every proposal Wlaich might add strength to the bill. The anal result is a true reconciliation of a long list of ideas, many of them mutually antagonistic. For this determination to find an scoeptable solution, I thank them. It has been a long and arduous job, but we are proud of our wort.
I believe that under any fair evaluaHon, one would have t consider this conference A highly successful from the point of viey of the House membership. I strongly urge that the House agrce to the conference report.
Following the precedent of the gentleman who handled the previous bin, I should especially Uke to commend the gentleman from Nlinois (Mr. SPRINGER), the gentleman from California (Mr. YOUNGER), and the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. DEVINE) for their cooperation and support and for their diligence to du helping to get this bm through the committee and through the House, as well as the conference.
Mr. GROSS. Mr. Speaker. will the gentleman from West Virginis yield?
Mr. STAGGERS. I yield to the gentleman from Iowa.
Mr. GROBS. Is the money Ogure in the conference report the same as it was In the House bull?
Mr. STAGGERS. Exactly; $51 milHon plus expenditures for tres and research.
Mr. GROSS. Mity-one million dol. lars.
Mr. STAGGERS. It is a total of about $58 million.
Mr. GROSS. What was the one area in disagreement ?
Mr. STAGGERS. The one area we had to give in on, and we did, was with respect to patents. The Senate was quite adamant on it.
Mr. AROSS. Patents?
Mr. STAGGERS. Yes. The Senate had taken a rollcall vote on this sepanto Ieature. They gave in to us on many things, and we were trying to get our bill. We did, almost in its entirety. We beUeve it is even a stronger bul than the one we had to start with.
Mr. PICKLE. Mr. Speaker, will the fentleman yield?
Mr. STAGGERS. I am glad to yield to the gentleman from Turas.
M. PICALI. I thank the rentleman sor palding..
I believe thin reatioman maid to his statement with merinos to the National Advleory Counci "homo ahanga had been made," primarily by the other body, and this w a rned to be the 200Sam SAGOTRS. No.
Mr. PICKER At must, como ahang were made with no podt to this Advory Cound.
Mr. STAGORS. That u carroot
Mr. PIC. . I am trying to determine what then chance varo. II read from the correct noction of the conference report, noction 104(a) states:
The Boerotary wall stabilan • National Yotos Vobialo detety Advisory Council, a mojarit a which ball be representatives of the ropenal publlo, Induding representedva of State and local governments, and the remainder ball include representative of motor vehiclo manufacturen, motor rabi. ale equipment manufacturen, and motor vehicle dealer
Thus, the statement is made:
A majority of which shall be representaHve.
A majority of how many?
Mr. STAGGERS. Of 19. The committee was expanded.
Mr. PICKLE. I do not see where this reference to 19 is made. Originally it was 13.
Mr. STAGGERS. I am sorry: that was incorrect. The Agure of 19 was discussed at some length. We leave this discretionary with the Secretary. We do insist that the public have the maJority.
Mr. PICKLE. The measure which afects highway safety, which was brought to the noor by another committee, bad & provision of 29 members.
Mr. STAGGERS. Yes.
disagree with him very definitely, because it we were to say that there should be only 13, as we originally intended. then you will have groups coming in that want to be mentioned and represented and perhaps should be. What we have done is to take a reasonable course, Isting people who ought to be considered for membership, and leaving at the discretion of the Secretary the right to expand on it.
Mr. PICKLE. It seems to me that the gentleman is making an argument which is just the opposite of the point he is trying to make. If you put a speciác limfe. tation on it, then ho will appoint that many and no more.
Mr. ROGERS of Florida. It may be that the Secretary feels he wants certain ones on it, and we do not want to do Anything that will restrict him. He may want : number of automobile men on it and some used-car people on it and some truck equipment manufacturers. We do not know yet who will be helpful to him in this advisory capacity. This allows him the dexibility of doing what ever is necessary and appropriate for an advisory committee. .
Mr. PICKLE, Mr. Speaker, I thin's this to a deficiency and it ought to be definitely stated us to the number that should be on this Advisory Cound.. .
Mr. PICKLE. To be appointed by the President. It is a committee of some considerable standing, and I think that 1 Ane. It seems to me that we ought to have a defnite number here. This could be a majority of three or four. It uys "m ority of which" and therefore you could have any number. This leaves it mighty wide open, it seems to me, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. STAGGERS. Certainly we could have a much larger group than three.
Mr. PICKLE. But it does not say that.
Mr. ROGERS of Florida. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. STAGGERS. I shall be glad to yleld to the gentleman.
Mr. ROGERS of Florida. Actually, what we have said here is that there will be a council appointed by the Secretary. We have not set a specific number, but we have said that the majority must be public members. This does leave in the discretion of the Secretary us to whether It shall be • 13-man, • 19-man, or a 26man committee, but what we have insisted upon is the fact that the majority shall be public members. We have suggested in the legislation the other areas from which the appointments will come, w the gentleman will notice. Therefore we have set up the basis of the commiadon but left it to the discretion of the Secretary doce it is an advisory committen Wo havo not specided that It must be 12. It may be that he will want to put various Industry peoplo on this council. He may want to put some automobile dealer on it, because they do have an interest in it. He may want to put a used-car dealer on it. However, i he puts these people on, then he must put a like number of public members on it so that there will be i ma. jority of public members.
Mr. PICKLE. The same argument could be made with respect to the highway safety measure in which they say 19 members. On the basis of this language, you probably would have at least five members.
Mr. ROGERS of Florida. Yes.
Mr. PICKLE. I think it would be the intent of this Congress that you will have more than five members, because this is supposed to cut across the board in a broad field. Flve is a limitation. Would you not say that it was your intent to have at least 15 members?
Mr. ROGERS of Florida. I think it was the intent of the Congress that we have more than five, because we have listed some people that certainly ought to be considered for membership, but we have not tied the hands of the Secretary as to how many he should have on it. It is certainly the intent that it be a reasonable membership to accomplish and make up a proper advisory Committee. That is the intent of the whole Advisory Council. It is to make it a useful tool for the Secretary in setting standards.
Mr. PICKLE. I will say to the gentleman that this seems to me to be & glaring weakness in the report in that you do not specify the number of the advisory committee, which is something fundamental.
Mr. ROGERS of Florida. If the gentleman will permit me to say so, I will
NATIONAL TRAFFIC AND MOTOR
VEHICLE SAFETY ACT OF 1966 Mr. STAGGERS. Mr. Speaker, I yleld such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Dulinois (Mr. SPRDTGER).
Mr. SPRINGER. Mr. Speaker, there were four substantive digerences between the Senate version of auto safety and that which was considered by our committee and passed by this House. Or those four diferences three were accepted almost entirely intact by the Senate conferees.
The Orst of these was the incorpontion in the auto safety bill of provisions dealing with tire safety and including a untform grading system. While it is true that 8. 2669 dealt with the problems of tire safety and in general terms covered the same ground as the House amendments, it was the conviction of our comwaittee, us confirmod by this body, that tire safety legislation belonged properly as part and parcel of auto safety. We felt then, and still do, that the tire safety provisions of H.R. 13228 were partioularly well considered and worthy of adoption, and I am happy to report that they were accepted.
The second diterence of consequence In the House bill was that section which created a Tramc Safety Agency in the Department of Commerce or the Department of Transportation as the case may be. It seems highly desdrable to concentrate in one place under a high-level administrator all of these activities dealing with automobile and tramc safety. This provision was acceptable to all of the conferees, and we feel that it greatly strengthens the conference version which, 1 accepted, will shortly become law.
In my personal opinion the third ditference constituted the greatest change
made by this House in the substantive
Even though the eventual Implementa-
For these reasons our House bin required the secretary to creato and Impode standards for used automobiles after certain preliminary research and studies were completed. The conterces agreed to accept this portion of the House bill, and in my opinion this alone would make the conference verdon worthy of acceptance by this body.
The other major difference involves the Advisory Coundll which was worked out in the Commerce Committee and accepted by the House. No smilar provision had been considered by the other body. I know that the Members of this House are fully aware that I advocated un Advisory Council appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and counsel of the Senate.
The House did not see at to accept my recommendation in this regard. It did. however, provide an Advisory Council which in its main provisions was adequate and highly useful. The Advisory Coundll provided in the conterence report is not what I would want it to be. It leaves entreh too much to the discretion of the Secretary us to its makeup and its functions. I do not feel, however, that legislation w important and farreaching us this National Tramo and Motor Vehicle Safety Act should be Jeopardized because of the relative weakDeos of this one feature.
To opposo it because of this one weak
noss, would be a disservice to the country. 21351 I am hopeful that the Secretary of Com
Merve or the secretary of Transporta-
With this slight reservation and this
Mr. ROGERS of Florida. Mr. Speaker,
Mr. SPRINGER. Yes. I yleld to the
Mr. ROGERS of Florida. I would like
Mr. SPRINGER. I think the gentleman from Morida was quite insistent on this when we had it up in our committee. It is one of the better features of the bill. because this does not give discretion to the Secretary to consult but it is mandator. He also should receive any report from the council that they wish to make in order that he may have the adVise of that counal.
Mr. GROSS. Mr. Speaker, will the rentleman seld?
Mr. SPRINGER. Yes. I yield to the Gentleman.
Mr. GROSS. Earlier this afternoon the rentleman from Texas (Mr. PICKLE), made a very good point that there ought to have been a Imitation on the number of members on the Advisory Council. I, for one, am surprised and disappointed that the conterces came back with a report that provides an unlimited number and without any specification as to whom they may be. It may be 26 political castofis appointed to this Council. Who nows?
Mr. SPRINGER. May I say In answer to the gentleman that I am just as disappointed as he is. We had just one alternative offered to the conference from the other body, and that was no council at all. We either had to have this kind of counal or no cound at all.
And that was the only alternative which was presented to us. The reason that we took it in this form is only because we believed that a Safety Council was necessary, and if we were going to have this thing function properly we simply had to have a concern about it.
May I say in further reply to the distinguished gentleman from Iowa that even under the other plan that even 1 they desired to do so, we cannot keep him from doing that. This is the reason I wanted this Council appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, because we would have an opportunity over here to do something about it. However, this was adopted in our committee and we want to do this.
Mr. Spenker, may I say that we came back with the best compromise which we could obtain, and that is the reason this 1s written in this form.
Mr. Speaker, I am just as unhappy about it as the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. Gross), but I wanted to explain to
Mr. &PRINGR. I held to the rentheman from West Virginata for the purpovo a rouponding to the question.
M. STAGOERS. Mr. Speaker, I would We to w to the contiennan from Teans that the language of the report is to the doct that the memberahip should be composed of a number at bo tween 13 and 10, o nome number in botwoen. A number of other Members thought that in order to get the bill out, we should agree to this Aguro.
Mr. Speaker, the word "representaHve" means two. We havo 6.diaren groups represented and that would mann 12. We would Mke for each crop to have two. We discused the numbers between 13 and 19, and that would be my understandins. if the Secretary does not Add to these members with reference to