Weekly Trek: May 15, 2015

Weekly Trek: May 15, 2015

Top Political News

  • President Obama reversed an embarrassing political defeat on Thursday when the Senate voted to advance his controversial trade agenda. WashPost
  • The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) continues to search for answers after Tuesday night’s tragic Amtrak crash. Reuters
  • Infrastructure Week concluded today and you can find a roundup of media coverage here and daily summaries here.

Transportation

  • A Middle Eastern airline involved in a dispute over foreign airline subsidies that has roiled the U.S. aviation industry strikes back against claims it received unfair assistance from its government. The Hill
  • A Congressional Research Service study raises questions about efforts to privatize air-traffic control.
  • House Speaker John Boehner indicated Congress would likely pass a short-term highway bill. WSJ
  • Transit Labs released a ranking of Congressional districts by how many crumbling bridges they have.
  • GOP cuts to transportation to transportation, housing draw fire. Politico
  • The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) came out with an analysis Tuesday indicated that hiking the gas tax is safe politically. The Hill
  • Highways gutted American cities. So why did they build them? Vox
  • Communities across the country are grappling with a surge in drone use that’s raising safety and privacy concerns. WSJ

Energy & Natural Resources

  • Seven environmental groups filed a lawsuit on Thursday challenging the oil-by-rail safety rules issued this month. NY Times & the petition
  • The really scary thing about wildfires is how they can worsen climate change. WashPost
  • The oil industry is launching a multimedia advertising campaign tomorrow in opposition to the Obama administration’s attempt to restrict allowable concentrations of ozone pollution. The Hill

Labor

  • Placement agents have been much maligned, yet pension funds continue to use them. A new study finds that the better agents in the business just might prove valuable. NY Times
  • Rauner sticking to pension plan despite legality questions. Chicago Tribune
  • The new proposed fiduciary rules under ERISA could fundamentally change how advisers must interact with plans and IRAs. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP provide an overview in Lexology
  • Robert Wood in an opinion piece in Forbes claims Obamacare Cadillac tax is a lemon, and businesses are slashing coverage to avoid it.

Foreign Affairs & Defense

  • The House defies a veto threat from President Obama and passed a $612 billion defense bill on Friday. The Hill
  • On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter recommended the president nominate Gen. Mark Milley, head of Army Forces Command, to be the next Army chief of staff, replacing Gen. Ray Odierno when he retires later this year and Adm. John Richardson to chief of naval operations. WashPo
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