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The Commission's Legislative Committee is of the opinion that its prior comments on this resolution were appropriate and warranted, but we have now received a copy of a letter dated February 17, 1960, addressed to you by the President of the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia in which he proposes certain amendments to the resolution. Your letter of February 18, 1960, asks for the views of the Commission on the proposed amendments.

The Commission questioned the legality and propriety of section 1 of article IX which provides that the compact may be amended by the two States and the District of Columbia without the prior consent of Congress and that any such amendment shall become effective unless, within 1 year, it is disapproved by Congress. We stated: “We recommend that article IX, 1, of the compact either be eliminated or amended to make clear that any proposed amendment agreed upon by the States and the District of Columbia shall not become effective unless or until it has been approved by Congress." It is understood that this provision also was questioned by the Department of Justice.

In order to correct this matter the President of the Board of Commissioners recommends that the following proviso be added at the end of section 2 on page 50 of the committee print: "Provided, That the said Commissioners Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia) shall not adopt any amendment to the said compact for the District of Columbia under the provisions of section 1 of Article IX of the compact unless the said amendment has had the consent or approval of the Congress.

While this addition would not remove the article IX, 1, provision, it would, as a practical matter, make it impossible for an amendment to the compact to be adopted by the signatories without the prior approval of Congress. It seems, therefore, that this would accomplish the practical results desired by the Commission and remove the basis for our prior recommendation.

Section 1(a) of article XII of the compact provides that the act shall apply to the transportation of passengers for hire between points in the metropolitan district and to persons engaged in such transportation, except:

“(4) transportation performed in the course of an operation over a regular route, the major portion of which is outside the metropolitan district except where a major portion of the passenger traffic begins and ends within the metropolitan district;".

These provisions determine the division of jurisdiction between the Interstate Commerce Commission under the Interstate Commerce Act and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission under the compact. We recommended a change in the provisions of section 1(a)(4) for the following reasons: (1) what constitutes a "route" is uncertain and subject to various interpretations; (2) under the terms of these provisions, jurisdiction over certain operations may change from one agency to the other, from time to time, depending upon whether a major portion of the traffic at the particular time is within or not within the metropolitan district and the words "major portion of the passenger traffic” is subject “major portion of the passenger traffic" is subject to various interpretations; (3) the test would make subject to both the Interstate Commerce Commission and the local Commission the mergers, consolidations, and the issuance of securities by interstate carriers operating into the area, including nationwide carriers; and (4) the vesting in the local Commission of authority over transportation between points in the area along regular routes of interstate carriers operating into the area may, in some instances, impede the establishment of interstate service between points in the area and points outside the area. These matters were explained in our prior letter.

The Commission recommended a subsitute provision for that in section 1(a)(4) of article XII. This was set forth on sheet 10 of our prior letter. This change, obviously, would require the resubmission of the compact to the legislatures of Maryland and Virginia and would occasion considerable delay because, it is understood, the legislatures of these States do not sit in the same years. The proponents of the resolution regard time to be a matter of importance and the President of the Board of Commissioners has proposed that a new section reading as follows be added to the joint resolution:

"The consent of Congress is granted upon the condition that, within 3 years from the date of this enactment, section 1(a)(4) of article XII of the compact be amended as set forth below, and, in, the event the compact is not so amended within such specified time the suspension of the applicability of the laws of the United States, and the rules, regulations or orders promulgated thereunder shalí terminate with respect to the transportation specified below and any carrier whose only transportation over a regular route within the metropolitan district is such transportation shall not be deemed a carrier subject to the compact:

"(4) transportation performed in the course of an operation over a regular route between a point in the metropolitan district and a point outside the metropolitan district, including transportation between points on such regular route within the metropolitan district, if authorized by certificate of public convenience and necessity or permit issued by the Interstate Commerce Commission, as to interstate and foreign commerce, and any carriers whose only transportation within the metropolitan district is within this exemption shall not be deemed to be a carrier subject

to the compact.”. The change in section 1(a)(4) of article XII which this new section would require to be made within 3 years is the same at that proposed by this Commission except it does not include provision for regulation by the Transit Commission of the intrametropolitan area rates charged by carriers operating between points in the area and points outside the area. Provision was made in this Commission's proposal for the regulation of such rates by the Transit Commission in order to promote uniform rates within the metropolitan area and because we assumed that the Transit Commission would desire this jurisdiction. This Commission does not have any strong opinions on this point, and it is satisfied to have jurisdiction over the metropolitan district rates of these long distance carriers remain with this Commission. It may be said, therefore, that the amendment to section 1(a) (4) of article XII proposed by the President of the Board of Commissioners, when it becomes effective, will meet all the objectives of this Commission.

The fact that there will be a period of 3 years or less until the proposed amendment will become effective is an objection to proceeding

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WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TRANSIT COMPACT

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in this way rather than by revision of the compact by the States prior to approval by Congress. It is our view, however, that this objection is not sufficient to warrant withholding approval of the compact, if Congress is of the opinion that the compact should be approved and that delay would be detrimental to the public interest.

In our prior letter we recommended certain minor changes in the language of section 11 relating to the issuance of securities and section 12 concerning mergers and consolidations. These changes were intended, primarily, to conform these provisions to proposed changes in section 1(a)(4) of article XII. If the amendment proposed by the President of the Board of Commissioners is adopted, we believe that the intention will be reasonably clear, particularly if the purpose is made clear in the legislative history. Comment on other matters included in our earlier letter was either intended to be informatory or did not relate to any matter in which we have any particular interest.

For the reasons explained above, we do not urge the objections to
the approval of the compact if the resolution is amended in accordance
with the February 17, 1960, letter of the President of the Board of
Commissioners.
Respectfully submitted.

John H. WINCHELL,
Chairman, Committee on Legislation.

John H. WINCHELL.
HOWARD FREAS.
EVERETT HUTCHINSON.

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