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President orchestrates unfettered access to U.S. roads for 100 poorly regulated Mexican trucking companies

PRESIDENT BUSH used an old sneaky trick in trying to allow Mexican trucks to roam the country at large, despite objections by Congress. He picked a Friday, Aug. 17, with Congress out of town to have the Transportation Department announce in the Federal Register (not everybody’s a daily subscriber) that the administration would proceed with a pilot project to allow 100 Mexican carriers to operate throughout the United States for a year.

Each carrier would turn loose many trucks on U.S. roads. The timing meant that half of adult Americans who read no newspapers and get their information only from the idiot box would be completely ignorant of Bush’s treachery. Newspaper readers would have to check closely and still many would find nothing on the subject. But the intended effect is for Americans to be unaware that Bush is proceeding with his plan to let Mexican trucks prowl the roads. Thus, Americans would not be bombing Congress with calls, email and snail mail to protest Bush’s action and demand that the Senate act on legislation that has already passed the House.

In May, the House approved 411-3 legislation to place a series of limitations on Mexican trucks and drivers, intended to block the administration’s plan indefinitely. The Safe American Road Act was sponsored by Rep. Nancy Boyda (D-Kan.) Ten of the 52 co-sponsors were Republicans. It is languishing before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee (1-202-224-0411).

“We’re going to have a major accident somewhere and people are going to say, ‘How did this happen?’” said Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.) just before the May 14 House vote.

Even aside from the “integration” step this would be, Mexican trucks are dangerous. They are not checked for such basic safety requirements as functioning brakes and tires with tread. American truckers are limited in the number of hours they can drive without rest. Mexicans are not, and often drive when dangerously tired because they are so low-paid they want to get in as many miles as possible.

Ironically, Bush was about to jump on Air Force One and fly to Canada to push for the NorthAmerican Union with no borders between this country, Mexico and Canada when the “keep’em truckin” order came. The summit would also try to advance a superhighway running from Mexico through the United States and into Canada. Of course, Bush and the other leaders lied and denied such ambitions.

(Issue #37, September 10, 2007)

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Updated September 1, 2007