The Senate is expected to take up the 2008 transportation appropriations bill soon. And as early as this evening, Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-ND, will introduce an amendment that would block funding for Bush's illegal Mexican Truck pilot program.
The House passed a similar measure in May that passed by the overwhelming margin of 411-3.
This is a bi-partisan, commen-sense, grass-roots issue. Americans of all political persuasions are outraged that the Bush administration would disregard the will of Congress and the majority of citizens who do not want this plan to move forward.
Americans can see through the Bush smokescreen. They see the potential danger, environmental and economic impacts to our nation if this so-called pilot project moves forward.
Everthing about this program has been done under the radar. Just weeks before the pilot program was announced, the DOT denied it was even being considered. There was no public record, no public comment period. Nothing.
Two weeks ago, the DOT was planning to unlock our borders over Labor Day weekend. The Teamsters, Sierra Club and others filed a lawsuit to block that move. The lawsuit continues, as does our pressure on Congress.
The green light to give Mexican trucks open access to U.S. roads and higways was given under the cover of darkness. The first Mexican truck given access to our nation's highways rolled across the border shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday.
One dangerous truck on our highways is too many. And it may very well be that no truck in this pilot project will cross the border uninspected. But what happens in September 2008, when George Bush is months away from leaving the Oval Office? Will he approve the full-scale opening of our borders?
Fewer than 10% of the trucks coming into our country from Mexico are being inspected now. An anticipated 30,000 Mexican trucks are expected to one day get full access to our highways. How many of them do you think the DOT will actually inspect?
Even today, the DOT's own inspector general says the agency, the Mexican Government and state agencies are not 100% ready to handle the anticipated traffic from the pilot program.
According to the AP:
The inspector general's report to Congress said the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association had made progress in addressing Congress' requirements.
But it also said the administration had no coordinated plans for checking trucks and drivers participating in the test program, and that the motor carrier safety group needed to do more to help enforce the English requirements for drivers.
Five states told the inspector general's office they were not ready to enforce the safety rules for the trucks during the pilot project. Twenty-six states raised one or more concerns.
There is still time to act. Here is a list of senators that the Teamsters are targeting for this action:
If your senator is on this list, and even if he or she is not, send them an email now.
UPDATE: Reid says Dorgan-Specter amendment will be introduced tomorrow morning.