Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.

Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan plans to offer an amendment today that would block the controversial federal program allowing Mexican trucks to operate freely on roads across the U.S.

Barry Piatt, spokesman for the North Dakota senator, told WND the amendment to the Fiscal 2008 Department of Transportation appropriations bill essentially will say, “None of the funds made available under this Act may be used to establish or implement a cross-border motor carrier demonstration or pilot project or program to allow Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to operate beyond the commercial zones on the United States-Mexico border.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today the amendment will come up for a vote tomorrow morning.

WND reported last week, Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., charged the Bush administration with being “hell-bent on opening our borders, but has failed to require that Mexican drivers and trucks meet the same safety and security standards as U.S. drivers and trucks.”

In May, the House of Representatives passed the Safe American Roads Act of 2007 (H.R. 1773), by an overwhelming, bipartisan 411-3 margin.

WND also reported a White House strategy to pressure the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation not to hold hearings or take any action on the House-approved Safe Roads Act.

The overwhelming majority by which H.R. 1773 was passed strongly suggests the House would accept in conference a Dorgan-submitted amendment to cut DOT funding of the Mexican truck demonstration project.

WND reported Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters attended a ceremony in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, Feb. 22 in which Transportes Olympic was announced to the Mexican public and press as the first Mexican trucking company certified to participate in the truck demonstration project.

The name of the company was not announced to the U.S. media or public until the surprise, extraordinary 9 p.m. telephone press conference Thursday by John Hill, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, held with a hastily assembled select group of reporters.

The first Mexican truck under the DOT demonstration project crossed the border Saturday at 1:50 a.m. Eastern Time at Laredo, Texas, headed for North Carolina.


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