Eno Transportation Library

Document of the Week
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1969 FHWA History and Analysis of Highway Apportionment Factors
This is a June 1969 internal Federal Highway Administration study written by Alan R. Kooney of the Policy Planning Division that may be the best history ever written of how apportionment formulas for federal-aid highway funding evolved through the first half of the 20th Century. The study ends with a discussion of balancing equity between states versus needs-based distribution that is still relevant today.
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1969 UMTA Task Force Report on Transit Reauthorization
This is an April 15, 1969 report of an internal Urban Mass Transportation Administration report framing the issues at stake for the forthcoming urban mass transportation reauthorization proposal and outlining the structures of four possible legislative approaches.
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Cornyn et al Chinese-Manufactured Rolling Stock Ban Legislation
This is the text of the bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on March 14, 2019 by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) banning the use of federal funds for the purchase of mass transit rolling stock from manufacturers owned by Chinese-based companies (and withholding federal transit funds from agencies that use their own money to purchase such rolling stock).
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Lowey FY20 Earmark Dear Colleague
This is a "Dear Colleague" letter from Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY). chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, dated February 28, 2019 (but not released until the following day). It notifies House members that she does not expect fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills produced by her committee to contain earmarks.
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1932 Treasury Letter Recommending First Gasoline Tax
This is a letter marked "CONFIDENTIAL" from Treasury Secretary Ogden L. Mills to Acting House Ways and Means chairman Charles L. Crisp dated February 16, 1932 recommending that Congress enact a new excise tax on gasoline to help eliminate the projected federal deficit. 
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1978 Conable-Gibbons Amendment to the Highway Bill
This PDF is a series of documents relating to a proposed amendment in the House Ways and Means Committee to the revenue title of the highway bill in 1978. Drafted (at the Department of Transportation's request) by Reps. Barber Conable (R-NY) and Sam Gibbons (D-FL), the amendment would have put the Highway Trust Fund on a form of "accrual accounting" and ensured that each year's new funding authorizations were reduced to that upcoming year's estimated excise tax revenues. 
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1958 FAA Act - White House Enrolled Bill File
This is the enrolled bill file prepared by the Bureau of the Budget on the Federal Aviation Act of 1958. The file contains a summary of the bill prepared by BoB and letters from all relevant federal agencies expressing their opinions on whether or not President Eisenhower should sign the bill into law. He did sign it into law, on August 23, 1958, creating an independent Federal Aviation Agency.
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Petroleum Product Tax Options for World War II
This is a February 1942 analysis by the Treasury Department's Office of Tax Analysis of the pros and cons of a variety of potential excise tax increases on gasoline, fuel oil, lubricating oil, and other petroleum products. The analysis weighs the need for extra federal revenue to fight the war against the need to conserve petroleum, rubber, and other war materiel and how taxes dovetailed with the rationing of those products.
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1933 Letter Advocating a Federal Mandate for Ethanol Content in Gasoline
This is a May 16, 1933 letter to the U.S. Treasury Secretary from the head of the Farm Products Chemical Company of America (and its lawyers/lobbyists) advocating federal legislation to levy an additional surtax on gasoline unless that gasoline includes a minimum percentage of ethanol that would quickly rise to 10 percent of the total.
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1971 Nixon Proposal to Create a Department of Community Development
This is the full justification document for President Nixon's 1971 proposal to create a new Cabinet-level Department of Community Development which would have contained all of the previous Department of Housing and Urban Development, plus the Federal Highway Administration, the Urban Mass Transit Administration, the highway safety grant program of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the rural development programs of the Agriculture Department, and sundry other programs and agencies.
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Moving Mass Transit from DOT to HUD - The Documentary Record
This is a PDF compilation of 55 original documents relating to the decision in 1968 to move federal responsibility for urban mass transportation from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to the Department of Transportation.
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December 1962 Mass Transit Lobbying Strategy Conference
These are the minutes of a strategy meeting held December 13, 1962 among a variety of mass transit interest groups and legislative and Administration representatives as to how legislation for a permanent mass transit subsidy program could be pushed through the upcoming 88th Congress.
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User Charges: Panacea or Pitfall? (AOPA Study, 1969)
This is a document called "User Charges: Panacea or Pitfall?" produced by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) in 1969 to provide policy justification for their opposition to the concept of having to pay user charges or user taxes for air traffic control services.
FY 2017 TIGER Grant Analysis
This is a PDF document containing numerous tables relating to the fiscal year 2017 TIGER grants released by the U.S. Department of Transportation on March 9, 2018.
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Trump Infrastructure Plan Outline
This is a 6-page summary of a much longer draft outline of President Trump's infrastructure plan prepared by the National Economic Council. The document is not dated but the metadata in the PDF suggests it was converted from MS Word to PDF format on January 8, 2018.
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May 2016 F.R.A. Report to Congress on Industry Response to Safety Advisories FRA-2013-08 and FRA-2015-13
This is a PDF copy of the report that the Federal Railroad Administration was required to submit to Congress by section 11406 of the FAST Act. It evaluates every railroad's compliance with FRA safety advisories relating to overspeed through curves and also gives a good summary of the FRA response to the fatal 2013 Metro North and Amtrak Philadelphia derailments. The report was submitted to Congress in May 2016 and does not cover any new service that began after that date.
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October 1954 Clay Committee Hearings - Transcript
This is a PDF of the stenographer's transcript of the hearings held on October 7 and 8, 1954, by the President's Advisory Committee on a National Highway Program. (The panel was often referred to as the "Clay Committee" for its chairman, General Lucius Clay.)
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Cabinet Meeting of September 30, 1955
This PDF contains documents from the Eisenhower Library relating to the Cabinet meeting held September 30, 1955. This was a very unusual Cabinet meeting in that it occurred six days after President Eisenhower had a massive heart attack while on vacation in Denver, Colorado.
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Brock Adams' 1977 Plan for Transportation Revenue
This PDF file contains a July 15, 1977 memo from Transportation Secretary Brock Adams to President Carter saying that "the transportation and energy problems cannot be pulled apart. Responsible sentiment is rising for a marriage of these two problems, and the argument is helped along by the realities of Congressional action." Adams proposed increased energy taxes (either an oil well-head tax or an increase in the gasoline tax) to remove the need for general revenues to be used to pay for mass transit and railroad programs.
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July 1964 FAA Administrator Halaby Letter to President Johnson
This is a personal letter dated January 13, 1964 from FAA Administrator Najeeb Halaby to President Johnson. In it, he discusses the civilian supersonic transport aircraft program, politically palatable FAA budget cuts, and the need for the FAA to stop making news.
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1997 NEXTEA Clearance Letter from Sec. Slater to President Clinton
Memo from Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater to President Clinton dated February 24, 1997 where Slater requests that the President approve the draft NEXTEA surface transportation reauthorization bill authored by DOT and transmit the bill to Congress as Administration policy.
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1967 NHTSA Consolidation Documents
Documents relating to President Johnson's June 1967 order consolidating federal highway safety functions and federal motor vehicle safety functions into one entity, which is now NHTSA.
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Lucius Clay Private Briefing for White House on Clay Commission Report
This is a PDF of the "memo for the record" by General John Stewart Bragdon, President Eisenhower's public works advisor on the White House staff, recounting a meeting held on December 13, 1954 in which General Lucius Clay and the other members of the Clay Committee briefed White House staff and leaders of other government agencies on the outline of the Clay Committee's forthcoming report.
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1954 Moses-Tallamy Plan for Transcontinental Toll Highways
This is a May 4, 1954 letter from New York City planning czar Robert Moses and New York State Public Works Commissioner (and future Federal Highway Administrator) Bertram Tallamy to President Eisenhower's Chief of Staff, Sherman Adams. The letter forwards Adams the Moses-Tallamy proposal for a $15 billion program to build continental toll highways, which the letter said had been discussed in Adams' office earlier that year.
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Documentary History of the 1987 Highway Bill Veto
Large (25 MB) PDF file containing a brief narrative of the 1987 highway bill veto fight along with 321 pages of original documents detailing the behind-the-scenes debates and compromises, taken from the Reagan Library and the Center for Legislative Archives.
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1946 Draft Reorganization Plan Creating A Federal Transportation Agency
Draft Reorganization Plan from the Truman Administration creating a Federal Transportation Agency to include all functions currently exercised by the Public Roads Administration, the Coast Guard, the Civil Aeronautics Administration, the Civil Aeronautics Board, the U.S. Maritime Commission, and the Weather Bureau.
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1959 National Capital Region Mass Transportation Survey
This is the full civil engineering study from the 1959 Mass Transportation Survey of the National Capital Region, the first official federal study to recommend the creation of a mass transit system in the Washington DC area.
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1966 Department of Transportation Act - White House Enrolled Bill File
Memo to President Johnson from the Bureau of the Budget on H.R. 15963 (89th Congress), the Department of Transportation Act, summarizing the legislation and recommending signature. The memo is accompanied by letters from various federal agencies expressing their views on the enrolled bill as well as a three-page summary of the major differences between the President's original proposal and the enrolled bill.
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November 1955 "Road Gang" Meeting
Internal White House memorandum dated November 17, 1955 summarizing a "Road Gang" luncheon panel discussion on what the outcome for the highway bill would be in the upcoming 1956 session of Congress.
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1956 (Nov.) Bragdon Presentation on Planning
November 1956 proposal from White House public works planning advisor John Bragdon for a comprehensive system of federal grants to state and local government to encourage long-range public works planning and the creation of what are now called MPOs.
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1916 Federal Aid Road Act Summary Document
A September 1916 pamphlet containing the text of the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916, a summary thereof, the text of implementing regulations, and an article by the Secretary of Agriculture explaining the need for the program.
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House Markup Transcript of 1966 USDOT Act - June 22, 1966
Transcript of the subcommittee markup session of H.R. 13200 (the Department of Transportation Act proposed by the Johnson Administration) held by a subcommittee of the House Government Operations Committee on June 22, 1966, at which the subcommittee ordered the bill favorably reported with amendments.
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March-April 1994 White House Memos on Air Traffic Control Reform Legislation
Series of internal White House memos from March-April 1994 evaluating the options for air traffic control reform legislation to be proposed by the Administration. The memos set the table for an April 13, 1994 meeting chaired by Vice President Gore to decide which of the four legislative options to select.
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May 1966 White House User Fee Memos
PDF file containing three memos relating to the Johnson Administration's quest for more transportation user charges, from May 1966.
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1969 USDOT Mass Transit Trust Fund Proposal
Documents related to the original 1969 proposal by the U.S. Department of Transportation to create an Urban Mass Transportation Trust Fund, to be financed by an extension of the expiring federal excise tax on automobile sales at a rate of 3.5 percent (enough to raise $10 billion over the life of the Trust Fund).
April 1966 Cabinet Meeting on Cutting Federal Expenditures
Records of the April 1, 1966 Cabinet meeting convened by President Johnson to discuss the need to reduce federal expenditures to fight inflation. At the meeting, Johnson ordered all federal agencies to try to find ways to cut federal expenditures (outlays) for construction-related activites for the upcoming year by 10 percent. This was the root of the highway spending impoundments that would plague the highway program from fall 1966 through spring 1975 and which shaped the debate over the Highway Trust Fund for decades after that.
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1991 ISTEA - Legislative Text of Administration Proposal
Text of the George H.W. Bush Administration's proposed Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 1991, as introduced in the House of Representatives as H.R. 1351. The bill proposed the creation of a 150,000-mile National Highway System and provided some of the foundation for the eventual ISTEA law later that year.
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1966 LBJ Message to Congress on Transportation
Message from President Johnson to Congress on March 2, 1966 that recommended the following: creation of a new Department of Transportation, the establishment of a new federal program of highway and vehicle safety, and the strengthening of the President's power over the Interstate Commerce Commission.
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1966 (Jan.) Memo to LBJ Recommending DOT Creation
January 28, 1966 memo to President Johnson from White House aides Joseph Califano, Jr. and Lee White recommending specific components of a new Department of Transportation and asking the President to side with them on disputes over treatment of the Coast Guard and Civil Aeronautics Board. LBJ hand-wrote at the end of the memo "I don't know enough - can't you reconcile difference before I act - L".
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1966 (Jan.) Boyd Response to McKee Paper
This is a January 10, 1966 "Eyes-Only" memo from Under Secretary of Commerce for Transportation Alan S. Boyd to White House domestic policy czar Joseph Califano, Jr. The Boyd memo is a direct response to a December 20, 1965 "Confidential" memo from Federal Aviation Administrator Charles "Bozo" McKee objecting to many specifics of the pending plan to create a new Department of Transportation (though it is not clear that Boyd knew that the unsigned December 20 paper was from McKee). Whenever the Boyd memo says "attached paper" it is referring to the December 20 McKee memo.
1976 (Jan.) RRRR Conference Decision Memos for President Ford
A January 2, 1976 memo from OMB Director James Lynn and Transportation Secretary William Coleman to President Ford asking the President to decide what positions to take in final negotiations with House and Senate conferees on the pending omnibus railroad bill (S. 2718) and a follow-up memo on January 6 from White House staff to Lynn listing and explaining the President's decisions. The final bill became the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-210).
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1965 (Dec.) White House Meetings With Transportation Stakeholders
This is a series of White House memos from December 1965 relating to outreach sessions held with transportation stakeholder groups to solicit their opinions in an off-the-record setting on two prongs of the draft 1966 Johnson Administration legislative agenda for transportation: the creation of a Department of Transportation and economic regulatory reform.
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1965 (Nov. 24) Bureau of the Budget Comments on Transportation Legislative Agenda
Set of memos sent to White House domestic policy chief Joseph Califano on November 24, 1965 giving the Bureau of the Budget's opinions on the three parts of the FY 1966 legislative agenda for transportation proposed by the Interagency Task Force on Transportation. The three parts of the agenda were transportation reorganization in general, the reorganization of transportation regulatory agencies, and highway safety reorganization. Also includes a memo from the White House Science and Technology adviser on the highway safety proposal.
1970 White House Memo on Motivation Behind Highway Impoundments
April 29, 1970 confidential memo from White House aide Ed Harper to President Nixon's domestic policy czar, John Ehrlichman, suggesting that the President impound (hold back from availability) even more highway contract authority from the Highway Trust Fund. The aim was to cause the Highway Trust Fund's unspent balances to build up so that they could build support for opening up the Trust Fund to spending on non-highway programs like mass transit.
1975 Ford Decision Memo on Highway Funding
This is a series of memos presented to President Ford in May 1975 requesting his decisions on highway funding policy for fiscal 1976 and thereafter. The main issue was that the newly created Congressional budget process had ended the practice of executive branch "impoundment" of money (including highway contract authority), which was causing a huge increase in the amount of highway contract authority available to states for obligation.
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1965 (Oct. 22) Memo from Under Secretary Boyd to Joe Califano with Initial DOT Recommendations
October 22, 1965 memo from Under Secretary of Commerce for Transportation Alan Boyd to White House domestic policy chief Joseph Califano, Jr. The memo transmits two papers dealing with transportation organization that Califano had requested at a September 25 meeting - a 19-page paper recommending which existing agencies and programs should and should not be included in a new Department of Transportation, and a 12-page paper examining a proposal to consolidate the existing transportation regulatory agencies (the Interstate Commerce Commission, Civil Aeronautics Board, and Federal Maritime Commission) into one transportation economic regulatory authority.
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1965 (Sep. 22) Decision Memo for LBJ on 1966 Transportation Agenda
September 22, 1965 decision memo for President Johnson from Joseph Califano asking Johnson's approval to order the Commerce Department to prepare plans for the creation of a Department of Transportation, a reorganization of transportation regulatory functions, a program of transportation rate reform, and a major highway safety program for the FY 1967 (calendar year 1966) legislative agenda.
1965 White House Justification for User Charges
The issue of whether the government should pay for transportation through general revenues or through some kind of charges on the users of the transportation system goes back a long way. In 1965, the Johnson White House attempted to move the conversation forward by proposing to increase user charges on aviation, levy new user charges on inland waterway transportation, and increase and extend the user charges on highway transportation, all of which were excise taxes. These White House memos from 1964 and 1964 summarize and justify those user charge proposals.
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1978 (Nov.) White House Decision on WMATA System Length
November 16, 1978 memo to President Carter asking him to settle a disagreement between DOT, OMB, and the White House Domestic Policy Staff on whether or not to insist on building the originally-envisioned 101-mile DC Metrorail system or to support truncation of less cost-effective extensions. Includes previous memos of August 15, 1978 from Transportation Secretary Brock Adams and of August 15, 1978 and November 22, 1978 from the Domestic Policy Staff. Includes President Carter's handwritten notes and checkoffs of decision boxes.
1978 STAA - Enrolled Bill Memo
Memo presented to President Carter on November 5, 1978 expressing the views of Administration agencies on the enrolled bill H.R. 11733, the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1978.
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1965 White House Transportation Task Force Papers
Fifty years ago today, Under Secretary of Commerce for Transportation Alan Boyd sent a letter to President Johnson’s domestic policy advisor, Joseph Califano, transmitting the first round of working papers prepared by the interagency Task Force on Transportation Legislation.
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1965 Moyers Memos to Develop 1966 Transportation Legislative Proposals
August 1965 memoranda from White House advisor Bill Moyers relating to meetings “to identify and lay plans for the careful development and review of potential legislative proposals to the second session of the 89th Congress in the field of transportation."
1982 White House Gas Tax Decision Memoranda
A series of three late November 1982 memos from DOT and OMB trying to refute the arguments that each agency made to President Reagan in the final Cabinet meetings to determine whether or not the President would request a gasoline tax increase.
1961 HHFA Recommended Urban Planning Draft Legislation
A June 1961 memo to President Kennedy from the head of the Housing and Home Finance Agency transmitting the draft legislation to give permission for two or more states to establish joint planning organizations for urban areas, to ensure that federal housing planning grants could be used for transportation planning, and to provide the first federal demonstration grants for mass transit.
1923 U.K. Cabinet Memo on Road Fund Revenue Dedication
A January 1923 memo to the U.K. Cabinet by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury questioning the wisdom of the Road Fund (created in 1909 with a dedicated revenue stream from motor vehicle taxes) and the propriety of dedicating specific excise taxes to specific spending programs.
1975 White House Freight Rail Assistance Decision Memo
Briefing papers prepared for President Ford in advance of an April 1975 meeting to discuss what kind of freight railroad rescue package to request from Congress. The legislation eventually became the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform (4R) Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-210).
1993 Robert Rubin Memo to President Clinton on Energy Taxes
February 1993 memo to President Clinton from his chief economic adviser giving the pros and cons of various types of new energy taxation. The memo framed the decision to request a BTU tax, which was changed by Congress to a 4.3 cent per gallon gasoline and diesel tax.
1982 White House Federalism Initiative - Jan. 25 Draft
Internal White House summary of a proposed "New Federalism" initiative for President Reagan, dated January 1982, which would have turned back significant highway and mass transit spending (and their dedicated excise tax revenues) back to states.
1972 Highway Bill "No Bill" Strategy Memo
In October 1972, House and Senate negotiations over the biannual highway bill were breaking down over the issue of whether or not the Highway Trust Fund should be opened up to fund mass transit capital expenses in urban areas instead of urban freeways. This October 16 memo from the White House Deputy Budget Director to his boss (OMB Director Cap Weinberger) and to Nixon domestic policy staffers Ken Cole and Bud Krogh gives an insider view of the House-Senate negotiations and then suggests a novel strategy: “I recommend that we settle for no bill at all.”
1978 President Carter Meeting on Airline Deregulation Bill
This week’s ETW Document of the Week is a Carter Administration memo preparing the President for a meeting with the chairmen of the House and Senate transportation committees, Rep. Harold “Bizz” Johnson (D-CA) and Sen. Howard Cannon (D-NV), and with House Aviation Subcommittee chairman Glenn Anderson (D-CA). The memo to Carter makes it clear that the chairmen were holding airline deregulation hostage in order to get Carter’s support for an unrelated airline noise bill.
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Creation of the Amtrak Route Map
This week’s ETW Document of the Week is an exchange of memoranda from late 1970 and early 1971 between the Nixon White House, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Department of Transportation over what routes the newly formed National Rail Passenger Corporation should serve.
1956 AASHO Letter to Senator Byrd
This week’s ETW Document of the Week is a letter sent from Rex Whitton, the head of the American Association of State Highway Officials, to the chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Harry F. Byrd, and other Senators in May 1956 expressing the candid views of the state DOTs on the Interstate Highway Act that had just been passed by the House of Representatives.
FY 1982 Reagan Transportation Budget Details
Few budget amendments have been broader in their scope than the ones submitted by Ronald Reagan in March and April 1981 for the fiscal year 1982 budget. Of particular note are the proposed aviation excise tax reforms mentioned in the document, which prove that from the outset President Reagan was not averse to increasing some kinds of excise taxes if they were dedicated to a trust fund whose programs benefit the taxpayers and if the tax increases, "would eliminate general fund subsidy of the costs put on the system."
1915 Coast Guard Origination Statute
Wednesday, January 28, is the 100th anniversary of President Wilson's signing of the law that created the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard Act combined two existing services: the Revenue Cutter Service (founded 1797, basically tax collectors with boats and guns to make sure shippers weren't avoiding tariffs by docking boats and unloading cargo outside designated Customs ports of entry), and the Life-Saving Service (established in 1878 to aid survivors of shipwrecks).
1915 Report of the Joint Committee on Federal Aid to Good Roads
On January 21, 1915, the Congressional Joint Committee on Federal Aid in the Construction of Post Roads issued its final report to Congress. The report of the Joint Committee represented, by far, the largest assemblage of information regarding roads ever published in the United States.
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