Government Matters: Sen. Peters meets Trump’s transportation nominee Chao

WKTV Staff


U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, on Jan. 9 met with Elaine Chao, President elect Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. Secretary of Transportation.


U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)

“I appreciated the opportunity to meet with Elaine Chao and discuss a number of transportation issues critical to Michigan and the nation,” Sen. Peters said in a supplied statement. “During our meeting, I was able to raise the importance of connected and automated vehicle technologies as an issue the federal government should continue to focus on in the coming years.


“Under the Obama Administration, the Department of Transportation has made significant progress to help support the development and deployment of these life-savings technologies, and I will be urging the Trump Administration to continue building on the progress that has already been made through efforts like the recent Federal Automated Vehicle Policy and proposed rule for vehicle-to-vehicle communications.”


Sen. Peters also stressed Michigan’s leadership role in the future of transportation technology innovation.


“I also shared information about Michigan’s role as a leader in the future of mobility and discussed the good work already underway in Michigan at test facilities like the University of Michigan’s Mcity and the American Center for Mobility,” he said. “I urged Ms. Chao to follow through on DOT’s current competition to designate national proving grounds to help connected and automated vehicle technologies reach their full potential. I look forward to continuing this discussion and hearing more about her plans for DOT during her confirmation hearing.”


President Obama signs innovation and competitiveness co-sponsored by Sen. Peters


President Barak Obama on Jan 6 signed into law the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, a bipartisan legislative compromise originally introduced by U.S. senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Cory Gardner (R-CO), along with John Thune (R-SD), and Bill Nelson (D-FL).


The first major update to federal research and technology policy to originate in the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee in more than a decade, this legislation maximizes basic research opportunities, reduces administrative burdens for researchers, encourages scientific entrepreneurship, and promotes oversight of taxpayer-funded research.


“Scientific research and innovation are the foundation of a strong economy,” Sen. Peters said. “The American Innovation and Competitiveness Act will help leverage federal investments in basic research, strengthen STEM education to train a skilled workforce and support small and medium sized manufacturers to keep our country internationally competitive.”


The legislation also promotes diversity in STEM fields, incentivizes private-sector innovation, and aims to improve advanced manufacturing and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a public-private partnership to support small and medium-sized manufacturers.