TRANSPORTATION EQUITY ACT: A LEGACY FOR USERS -- (House of Representatives - April 01, 2004)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the order of the House of Tuesday, March 30, 2004, and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 3550.
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Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of TEA LU. However, I am disappointed that it does not include language to close a dangerous loophole in a 30-year-old law that allows school districts to use 15-passenger vans to transport students to and from athletic trips and other school activities.
I have introduced legislation, H.R. 1641, to remedy the problem. It would prohibit the purchase, rental or lease of 15-passenger vans for use to transport students. I understand that the ranking member is amenable to working with me and others in conference to ensure we put an end to this practice that puts schoolchildren's lives on the line every day.
Is this the understanding of the gentleman from Minnesota?
Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. UDALL of Colorado. I yield to the gentleman from Minnesota.
Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman from Colorado has identified an issue that has been highlighted by the
National Transportation Safety Board. I am in full sympathy with the gentleman, and we will work to accomplish that objective.
Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Minnesota for his remarks and look forward to working with him.