tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 19, 2016 12:30pm-2:16pm EDT
the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? if not, the ayes are 95. the nays are 3. the bill as amended is passed. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to speak for up to ten minutes. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the senate will be in order. mr. thune: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota.
mr. thune: i want to express my appreciation to my colleagues for the passage of the federal aviation administration reauthorization act of 2016. by passing this legislation, which i offered with the commerce committee's ranking member, senator nelson, and our aviation subcommittee leaders senators ayotte and cantwell, the senate is seeking to end a string of short extensions with a comprehensive reform proposal now on its way to the house of representatives. bipartisan efforts at both the commerce committee and on the senate floor made an already strong bill even better. mr. president, only weeks ago horrific attacks by isis created new concern for air travelers. recognizing the need to enhance security, senators from both sides of the aisle offered amendments to strengthen safety and security protections for passengers in this aviation bill. to guard against the threat of airport insiders helping terrorists, we added provisions that i offered along with senator nelson to improve scrutiny of individuals applying for work in secure airport
areas. we put requirements in place so applicants needing access to secure areas of airports can be denied a security credential if convicted of an embezzlement, immigration law violation or assault with a deadly weapon. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. please take conversations off the floor. mr. thune: while few criminals are terrorists it is not at all uncommon for terrorists to get their start as criminals. the brussels attackers, for example, were known to the police as criminals long before they carried out terrorist attacks. ensuring dangerous criminals don't work behind the scenes at airports is one important thing we can do to reduce the threats facing airport passengers. tightening the vetting process for airport employees is especially critical as many experts believe the recent bombing of a russian passenger jet leaving egypt had help from an aviation insider. our bill it includes provisions to better aid at check points
and help reduce passenger backups. these reforms could help prevent future attacks like the one last month at a belgium airport which targeted a crowd where passengers didn't need tickets. while many security enhancements highlight problems highlighted by recent attacks none of these were cobbled together in a rush to do something. all the security proposals existed for months and were the result of congressional oversight, independent evaluation of agencies in the study of problems. what recent attacks by isis did create is new urgency to enact these security safeguards as the threat of terrorism remains a menace. mr. president, as i've mentioned more than once, this legislation has been praised for the many ways it helps airline passengers. under this bill, airlines will be required to return fees if they lose or significantly delay delivery of passengers' luggage. we also require airlines to
automatically return fees for services purchased but not delivered so that travelers don't have to go through the hassle of trying to reclaim money from an airline. because many customers are frustrated bill lengthy legal jargon that can make it difficult to understand add-on costs our bill creates a new easy to read uniform standard fordice closing baggage, ticket changes and other fees. we help families with children find flights without additional costs by requiring airlines to tell them about availability. a "washington post" columnist called our bill one of the most friendly reauthorization bills in a generation. mr. president, i'm proud that the f.a.a. bill before the senate today is the product of a bipartisan process. over at the commerce committee, we approved 57 amendments before this bill came to the floor. 60% of those amendments came from members of the minority.
here on the senate floor we approved an additional 19 amendments. mr. president, in addition to helping passengers and enhancing security, this legislation addresses a number of other priorities, including the cybersecurity of aircraft, the aircraft design approval process, undue regulatory burdens on noncommercial pilots, airport infrastructure, rural air service, lithium battery safety, mental health screening for pilots, communicable disease preparedness, drone safety, and many other important areas. and without going through them in detail, the bill's provision for unmanned aerial systems are groundbreaking. 20 years from now when drones play significant roles in our economy and making the public safer, congress will look back at this bill as landmark legislation. provisions in this bill will give the f.a.a. authority to address safety issues unique to drones and advance the development of drone technology.
thanks to this legislation, the f.a.a. will be able, better able, i should say, to consider and grant permission for new and safe drone usage, stop dangerous practices and deploy new tools to put sensitive parts of our national airspace under restricted access for drones. finally, mr. president, as i've noted, ranking member nelson, senators ayotte and cantwell deserve high praise for their collaboration on this legislation. senator nelson in particular has been a real partner in the effort, and i want to express my sincere thanks to him and to his talented staff. i also want to acknowledge the important contributions of finance committee chairman hatch and ranking member wyden and their staffs without the finance committee provisions that they provided for revenue and expenditure authority, we would not have an f.a.a. bill. i also want to thank leader mcconnell as lead liaison to the commerce committee scott rabb and leader reid for helping us get this bill passed. i appreciate the senators and
staff members who worked with us so we could include so many amendments here on the floor. finally, mr. president, it goes without saying, i want to thank my own staff for their great work on this bill. especially nick rossi, adrian arnakas, bailey edwards, michael reynolds, susan gillan, jackie keshan, rebecca sydell, andrew tim, frederick him, and lauren hammer. long hours and even a few all nighters have been put into this bill over a course of many months, and i am the first to say that nothing consequential or substantial gets done around this place, mr. president, without the important work, hard work of a very talented and skilled staff. and i am blessed on the commerce committee to be surrounded with people who care passionately about these issues, who work very diligently to get the best
possible outcomes and results, and i'm grateful to the contributions of our staff to those of senator nelson's and the many members who are involved in shaping this bill. it's another accomplishment that we can all be proud of. mr. president, with that, i yield the floor. mr. nelson: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: the feeling is mutual. i made my comments earlier, so i won't go into the substance of the bill. certainly senator thune has been a delight to work with, and his committee staff as well. and i want to personally thank our staff, tom chapman, jenny solomon, chris day, mossad sayed, melissa alvaria, maria stratinko, nick russell, christian felled, petr mcgee,
brad torpee and our staff director kim lip ski and i also want to thank the democratic staff here on the floor. day in and day out, they make this place run and they make it possible. gary myrick, tricia engel, dan tinsley and all the cloakroom staff. and so i thank the senate for responding so affirmatively for this f.a.a. bill. now, let's get the house to understand the wisdom of this bill and so we can get it into law. mr. thune: mr. president? the presiding officer: the sno nuclear south dakota. thune i ask unanimous consent that the title amendment at the desk be agreed to. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. so ordered. mr. thune: mr. president, i yield the floor.
the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mr. burr: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to make some remarks on the burr-tillis amendment to the energy bill 3175. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. burr: mr. president, thank you, and to my colleagues, let me just say i'm embarrassed that i'm having to come to the floor and talk about an amendment that makes so much common sense, that embraces everything that i think a legislative branch -- morning business importantly, the american people -- more importantly, the american people, support. an american species. i rise to ask my colleagues to support the corolla wild horse protection act. the amendment mirrors legislation that senator tillis and i introduced, senate bill 1204. and this bill has passed the house twice, in 2012 and 2013. and let me be specific.
this bill directs the secretary of the interior to enter into an agreement with the corolla wild horse fund to provide for the management of free-roaming wild horses in and around currituck national wildlife refuge. now, as i've learned, most of north carolina in the summer is inhabited by people from virginia and maryland, up and down the east coast. as a matter of fact, of the area of the northern part of the outer banks where the wild horses are found, where there isn't a road, you drive on the sand to get there, 60% of the homes there are owned by virginians, not north carolinians -- virginians. and for hundreds of years these horses have exist there had wild. as a matter of fact, it's such a part of north carolina's history that in 2010, it was made north carolina's state horse.
people have seen these horses. they've seen them on the beach. they've seen them in between cottages. they've coexisted with the habitat for over 200 years. the turtles that thrive, the ducks have thrived, wildlife has thrived, the species of habitat has survived. because, you know what? there's no better protector of the species than these animals, because to eat what they need and not to remove the roots is to understand that you need that to repopulate to keep you alive. but here's the problem: this herd has been mandated to be held at 60 horses. and by every scientific study that's done about genetics, you've got to get up above 100 or to 120 to have genetic sustainability. so what are we proposing?
this act proposes that we bring 20 horses from the shackleford reserve and we integrate them into the horses on the outerbank, a mere two hours away. a herd that was similar from a standpoint of its creation. and we begin to inject genetics into this to where we don't have the genetic deformities that are beginning to be experienced with the corolla horses. if we don't act now, we could lose these horses, and it's all due to genetic inbreeding. now, the reason i'm embarrassed to be here is that this is something that ought to be done by unanimous consent. this is something that every person in this body should embrace. yet the fish and wildlife service is opposed to this. and there's nothing that says that fish and wildlife can't build a fence around the
wildlife reserves. it has existed for hundreds of years in the wildlife reserve before it was designated as a wildlife reserve and after. as a matter of fact, where these horses roam is on private land for 70% of the roaming land that they have. so the wildlife refuge is only 30%, but the 70% that's on private land, the private landowners are all for making this herd genetically sustainable. now, if we don't do this legislatively, let me assure you, fish and wildlife is going to hold the number at 60. 60 will genetically burn out this herd. and as they reproduce, i don't know what fish and wildlife is going to do. the herd is at 80 today. it needs new genetics entered into it to change the trend.
but fish and wildlife could go out tomorrow and they could shoot 20 horses. i'm sure they would probably tell us that they would take 20 horses and the they would put tm somewhere else. where are they going to put them? inject them into another generac herd and increase the sustainability of those? maybe so. but if you do it somewhere else, why wouldn't you do the same thing here? there's nobody in the public -- no landowners that are clamoring to let this herd die out. as a matter of fact, there are 1.5 million people in this country that have expressed support for the sustainability of this. but this is one where science does dictate. the science say, it's not sustainable if you leave this herd without a genetic injection from somewhere else. so i'm here to urge my colleagues -- this is not a new
proposal. it's passed the house twice. it is in the a new proposal. fish and wil wildlife has done s in other places. for some reason, in north carolina they don't want to do it and the last test for any member of congress and for anybody in the public of this country should be, well what does it cost us to do this? what am i asking you to pay to do this? the answer is, zero. there's no federal cost to this. we sustain a herd for the future. it costs the taxpayers nothing. we have a private ntsty that takes -- we have a private entity that takes responsibility for the management of the fund, and we don't in any way, shape, or form limit fish and wildlife from their ability to fence off whatever they believe is environmentally sensitive, and we have horses that for over 200
years have lived with ducks and geese, sea turtles, and never seen a problem with it. mr. president, you've been patient. and i would say to my colleagues, don't make a mistake. support this legislation. it's the right thing to do. it costs the taxpayers no money. and it embraces everything that i think america stands for, and that's preservation of the history of this country and, believe it or not, these horses represent over 200 years of history in north carolina. and that's why we made them our state horse. i thank the presiding officer. i yield back, suggest the absence -- i yield back. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate the previous order, the senate >> the senate is in recess and
now following passage of an faa funding and policy bill. they are now in party caucus lunches until 2:15 p.m. when they return senators return to an energy modernization bill which updates the nation's electric grid and improved energy efficiency for buildings. amendments and final passage of votes later today. this from a hill. president obama goes aside or maybe tomorrow with a tailwind of renewed scrutiny on america's alliance with the gulf arab nations. in recent days questions have resurfaced about taking control into september 11, 2001 terrorist attack. yesterday the obama administration was forced in the uncomfortable position of siding with the saudi arabians and democratic presidential candidates over legislative allowing families of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to sue the kingdom. the white house suggested it
would be -- it would veto the bill because of the precedent it would set. more at the hill.com. president obama leaves today for saudi arabia. on thursday will meet with leaders and delegations from the gulf cooperation council countries, and then traveled to london. on friday the president will have lunch with her majesty queen elizabeth and meet with prime minister david cameron. that you will hold a news conference. on saturday the president will participate in a townhall discussion with the british youth. and on sunday president obama travels to germany for a meeting and dinner with chancellor angela merkel. >> our live coverage of the presidential race continues tonight for the new york state primary. join us at nine eastern for election results, speeches and your reaction.
taking you on the road to the white house on c-span, c-span radio in c-span.org. >> leading up today's primary hillary clinton holds a sizable lead over senator bernie sanders with 95 delegates. >> donald trump late senator ted cruz and john kasich in the republican delegate count. >> at politico.com this is the headline, i clashed over the committee rules is breaking out. alex isenstadt writes in an all out internal power struggle its erupted at the republican national committee just days before a critical party gathering in florida. alex toney was on the phone. thank you for being with us. >> caller: how are you? post that this is a precursor to what we can expect just before the republican convention in cleveland. what's going to happen thursday?
>> caller: this thursday will have the rnc rules committee will meet and debate what is a very controversial proposal. but the proposal would do is it would essentially turn the convention to a state convention governed by robert rules of orders, a parliamentary government that issues of civic in which -- meetings as opposed to the u.s. rules of the house of representatives which has been governing republican convention for decades really. this is in the weeds and in -- have huge impact on the national convention should it be implemented. >> host: it could change the operations of the republican convention in cleveland. >> caller: it would significantly change the operation and could impact something as fundamental about as to whether republican insiders are able or not to
draft a so called white knight candidate, so do come into play the role of party savior in a deadlocked convention. someone like paul. someone like paul ryan, scott walker. >> host: if they change the rules, right now we are in from donald trump and others, donald trump say the system is rigged your point is this for the republican national committee leadership including chairman ryan's previous? >> caller: this comes at a sensitive moment because donald trump has been leveling these accusations against rnc that some of the system is rigged against them in some a insider trying to ensure that he doesn't win the nomination. what this will do it is particularly sensitive for this reason. the people are supporting this rule are saying it would add a degree of transparency to the process, take power away from insiders who are going to oversee this convention and give it more to the grassroots side of things. specifically the way this rule will work as it would say look, if individual delegates will be
given more power to determine how proceedings go on the floor. so anytime a delegate wants to object, they have to be recognized by the presiding chair. what would happen is the presiding chair, the person overseeing this which is a role that will be filled by paul ryan would have less power. usually the presiding officer is able to dictate how things go. this time around they would have to recognize each and every delegate if they have an objection. >> host: the next rules committee will be made up of delegates will be attending the convention a week later in cleveland. explained the difference. >> caller: basically the only people that can actually set rules for a convention are the rules committee that is going to be at the convention itself. the rules committee meeting this week for the annual rnc spring
meeting in florida is going to be the standing rules committee. that's different from the conventional rules committee. what these people can do this week is if they can make suggestions to the convention rules committee about what kind of rules are laid down for the convention. >> host: normal user sessions that even c-span would not cover. we will be in florida for the meeting on thursday. you will be there as well. what are you looking for? >> caller: this is a really critical juncture for the republican party. there are going to be a lot of discussions among party officials, among donors and others about what direction is the party going in right now. are we headed to a contested convention? are we headed to a nomination a few donald trump were ted cruz? are the discussions about whether a white knight candidate can or should emerge? paul ryan has taken himself out of it but we haven't talked about a lot of other people that could fill that role.
all these things come all these questions are swirling around and this'll be one of the only times for the rnc members get together in one room in one space before the convention. you're bound to your interesting discussions. >> host: the issue is how does the rnc be fair, remain transparent and also remained open to a number of scenarios that we haven't seen at a republican convention in decades than seven that's right. you have a situation where a number of these party officials are learning the rules, because we haven't had a contested convention since 1976. most people were probably involved in politics were not as involved back then. everyone to try to familiarize themselves with things, trying to get what's going on at the office can play a. >> host: you look at what may transpire on thursday. what is the question that you have? what are you looking for? would still do need to better understand? >> caller: will look, our
people have come to the conclusion we're headed to a brokered convention. how do people feel about donald trump were ted cruz being the nominee? there's concern about these two men represent the party in november because they are concerned about how they would fare in a general election. do people feel better or worse about either of them? are there any divisions at all in the party over anything about rule changes, about who should the party's nominee be at about whether there's openness to a white knight emerging at the convention. >> host: more details online. alex isenstadt who is following this story, thank you for being with us. >> caller: thank you. >> mark rosekind, the ministry of national highway traffic safety administration testifies that his agency's implementation affairs safety mandates. he has recently passed highway laws. he appeared last week before house panel.
[inaudible conversations] >> i will ask all of our guests to take her seat. the subcommittee on commerce committee will now come to order. i will recognize myself for five minutes for an opening statement. welcome to our hearing this morning. it is always good to have you here. we look forward to your testimony today. there are a lot of important things we need to discuss, something set a chain central last visit with the passage of the highway bill but we are grateful you here today. your administration the national highway traffic safety of ministership was established congress in 1970 to reduce deaths and injuries from motor
vehicle accidents and to make our nation's roadways safer. the importance of the agency's mission cannot be understated. with over 50 million vehicles recalled and a surge in traffic fatalities last year, it's clear that your work is very real and immediate societal and economic implications that affect the lives of virtually every american. the life-saving nature of nhtsa's mission requires congress and this subcommittee in particular, to ensure absolute compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standards and processes. it also requires us to monitor the agency's ability to keep pace with technology advancements in automotive systems that promise greater safety and mobility. we've seen over the last few years, a failure to comply with safety standards or a misunderstanding of vehicle construction and design leads to delays in safety recalls, roadway fatalities and other preventable incidents. based on our focus on auto safety, we included many reforms
in the safety title of the fixing america's surface transportation act that was passed by congress and signed into law last year. among those reforms included direction to nhtsa to implement 17 recommendations issued by the department of transportation office of inspector general following a comprehensive audit of the agency's internal processes. those recommendations are intended to improve nhtsa's collection of vehicle safety data so that safety defects can be identified earlier and faulty cars can be removed from the road faster. the recommendations are also intended to help nhtsa keep pace with complex vehicle technology nhtsa has pledged to implement all 17 recommendations by june 30th of this year. following this hearing, i will send a request for a full
breakdown of nhtsa's progress toward implementing all 17 recommendations. the recently passed highway bill also contains a number of other measures intended to protect the driving public, including improving knits his safety recall processes, increasing the availability of vehicle defect information to consumers, and keeping congress apprised of the agency's activities to the submission of an annual agenda. each of these reforms work together to ensure that the agency remains focused and dedicated to its mission of saving lives, and that the cars american motorists are driving are safe. we also must ensure absolute compliance with motor vehicle safety standards and processes from vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, and new entrants into the automotive industry. their role in advancing vehicle and roadway safety is just as critical to the goal of reducing traffic fatalities and increasing safety for all roadway travelers.
to that end, the fast act contains provisions that strengthen remedy and repair obligations among automakers for vehicles under recall, and requires greater accountability from dealers and rental car companies to ensure that consumers driving away from those lots are in safe cars. in addition to the implementation of the fast act, there is much more to consider today. i certainly do look forward to discussing the status of the ongoing takata airbag recalls. back home in texas there was another tragic fatality tied to these airbags. and national highway traffic safety administration establish a coordinated mini program in 2015 to accelerate the replacement of defective takata airbag inflators. despite this program that takes rate or the percentage of people issued a recall that take their vehicle in for servicing remains
low. always, i commit to you that we will do whatever possible for the public service campaign to make sure this word gets out to consumers. i hope to hear about your coordinator remedy program and what additional action nhtsa is going to solve this problem. i look forward to discussing of the agency is working with automakers to protect vehicles from cyber threats and that the agency is preparing for the industries future of crash avoidance technology, vehicle-to-vehicle communication, autonomous cars, and beyond. we provided for a significant increase in resources for nhtsa in the fast act. some of those are contingent upon reading some of the performance set forth in the oag report. finally, i would just like to say you have been good about coming in when asked. you been good about being straightforward with us i and yr interest and for that i am very
appreciative. it just goes without saying everyone should know where their vehicle invitation is located on the car, lower left hand of the windshield and i can be entered into your database, safercar.gov and find out if their vehicle has been subject to a recall. important information our subcommittee vice chair actually had to recalls on his vehicle and it was delineated that way so i encourage people to check the car yourself for love or your child, someone from whom you're responsible because it is the responsible thing to do. i will yield to the ranking member of the subcommittee for an opening statement five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate that really important public service announcement. seriously, we need to encourage our constituents and our american citizens to do just that.
so i look forward to hearing today how nhtsa is addressing ongoing and emerging safety challenges. last summer i know you were here to testify on the takata airbag recall. the fallout from the faulty airbags continued as we know. toyota announced the recall of another 60,000 vehicles this morning, so these recalls keep on coming. just last week it was a 17 year old texan who died when her airbag ruptured in a slow speed accident, consumers are rightly concerned by the class of vehicles impacted by this and other defects. that drove 2015 to be a record-setting year for auto recalls. in 2015 traffic fatalities also increased by 9%, reversing years
of progress, and we just can't have another year like 2015. nhtsa has made progress in some important areas, for instance, under new rule, heavy vehicles will be a part of electronic stability control. the same time i'd like to see more progress in other areas such as we are seatbelt reminders. as we work to improve safety, strong enforceable standards are vital and that's why i'm concerned about reliance on nonspecific voluntary standards. the proactive safety principles released earlier this year sent out some broad areas for improvement, and i agree that the industry and nhtsa should be more proactive in improving safety, examining early warning reporting data, increasing recall participation and enhancing cybersecurity. but i worry that progress in these areas will be limited if we don't have enforceable standards. the lives of drivers, passengers sharing the road are too important to rely on broad principles.
we need to ramp up output approach to safety. i along with ranking member of the full committee this chip alone and several members of the subcommittee have introduced their vehicle safety improvement act, and our bill would increase in of these for violations of safety standards, double nixes safety funding, into the public is properly notified of safety problems and enable nhtsa to better respond when recalls are necessary. last year congress considered a surface transportation bill. and while i am glad we finally get past a long-term transportation bill on safety, this bill i think was largely a missed opportunity but we can fix that. bills like these are what the subcommittee would be advancing if we want to make meaningful progress toward reducing vehicle deaths, in addition to current safety challenges, nhtsa and the
subcommittee must think about the next generation of vehicles, vehicle-to-vehicle technology, and automated driving have the potential to improve highway safety, but there is a lot to test and figure out. and let me just say that consumer privacy as strong security need to be built into these technologies from the get-go. and nhtsa need to be provided sufficient resources to adequately review these technologies before mass deployment. that gets to a broader point. nhtsa needs adequate funding if we want adequate safety. we get the government that we pay for. and with our consumer watchdogs don't have enough resources, we shouldn't be surprised when they don't keep pace with our safety needs. we need strong standards coupled with the resources to develop and enforce them. and without that we are not going to make the progress that we need. i welcome our witnesses.
i look forward to your testimony. and i yield back unless someone wants almost a minute. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from mr. upton. >> thank you, mr. chairman. auto safety, it's a matter of life and death. there are not many issues as important as keeping americans safe on the road. oversight of the national highway traffic safety administration is an essential part of this subcommittee's work in protecting drivers across michigan and across the country. with over 250 million vehicles on the road transporting american families every day, today's oversight hearing offers an important opportunity to evaluate nhtsa's efforts in fulfilling its core mission of reducing traffic fatalities and making sure our nation's roadways and vehicles are safe. in the past few years we've seen nhtsa face many challenges. the agency has struggled to collect and take action on meaningful vehicle safety data, and major recalls have come too late and often with an unclear
message on how to fix the problem. we are sadly all too familiar with the tragic consequences of safety failures. the fixing america's surface transportation act, signed into law last year, included numerous reforms sponsored by members of this subcommittee to address some of those challenges and improve accountability, transparency, and efficiency at the agency. i thank chairman burgess for his leadership in that effort, and i look forward to discussing the implementation progress of those reforms with administrator rosekind today. i should note that while the fast act represents a positive step forward in improving auto safety practices within nhtsa and across the auto industry at large, there is still much more that can, and should, be done. with low recall completion rates, the ongoing takata recalls, and cyber security issues, other reforms and initiatives must be considered to prevent further tragedies. one problem we have seen repeatedly is an agency struggling to keep pace with
next-generation automotive technologies. being from the auto state, i understand how innovation and technological advancements developed by the auto industry are introducing greater complexities into today's vehicles. it's tougher, it is. however, it's nhtsa's responsibility and obligation to stay on top of those developments and protect the driving public. part of the problem is a lack of good testing and research facilities for connected and autonomous vehicles. facilities like michigan's american center for mobility at willow run are critical to policymakers' preparation and understanding of these advanced technologies, and faster consumer adoption. until we have an accident and defect-free vehicle and roadway system, we can never put too much emphasis on safety. and you can't have safety without testing. i want to explore how we can move forward with critical testing facilities like willow run which will both secure america's continued leadership in advanced automotive
technologies but also protect american families on the road. the automotive industry is vital to michigan's economy, as well as the nation's. it drives innovation, job creation, productivity, and economic advancement. robust auto safety is fundamental to that progress. we have to continue to work together to enhance vehicle and what we safety to our nation's motors and a of the balance of my time to the vice chair of the committee. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and we welcome you. we are delighted to have you here before us today. that chairman mentioned safety. it is of prime importance of us. we know that government can't guarantee 100% safety but we know it's a cold we should all be striving toward come and we appreciate your willingness to work with us on safer vehicles and a safer environment for those. chairman burgess mention the
takata airbag hearing, it would look forward to an update on that. we are continuing to look at that and to hear about this issue. the driverless cars, the vehicle-to-vehicle communication, i am hearing more about that, and automatic braking systems. we know that these are items that have the potential for saving lives, but we want to make certain that those communications are secure, that they're not going to be able to be compromised via malevolent actors. we are concerned about the hacking into these vehicles. so we'll want to visit those issues with you. chairman upton mentioned the importance of the auto industry in michigan, likewise in tennessee, with gm and nissan and toyota. my constituents are concerned about the decisions that you make, the actions that you take
come and we welcome you to the committee again. i yield back. >> the chair thanks the gentlelady yield at the chair recognizes mr. below are opening statement. >> thank you, chairman for calling this hearing so we can discuss nhtsa is critical mission of making our roads safer and a caucus contest support that mission. it's an exciting time in the automotive world right now from vehicle-to-vehicle communication to self parking cars to automatic braking. gets into in the midst of a major technological shift in the way we drive our cars. also may want to focus isn't on the future of the automobile and i do want to hear that nhtsa industry have the tools and skills massive to do with the ever-changing landscape, but we must address the deficiencies that are plaguing this industry. over the last several years we've seen massive and highly publicized recalls for general motors, ignition switches, takata airbags come and toyota unintended acceleration.
unfortunately, 2015 was another record-setting year for auto recalls which erodes the public trust and the ongoing defects put people in danger. just last night we learned yet another death has been linked to a faulty takata airbag. while some recalls may always overcome industry must take responsibility for its own failures and do more to prevent faced -- safety deficiencies. nhtsa must ahead of the curve on safety and that starts with having the conviction to effect real change both within nhtsa and throughout the industry. last year was not only a record-setting year on recalls, we also saw a rise in traffic fatalities. according to nhtsa projections, deaths increased 9.3%, to 26,000 in the first nine months of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014. it was also a 30% rise in serious injuries in the first half of 2015 compared with the first half of 2014, up to nearly
2.3 million serious injuries. in january the department of transportation announced an agreement on safety principles between nhtsa in 18 major auto manufacturers. what agreement covers safety, it's lacking in meaningful details. it's nothing more than agreement to try -- i have serious reservations about the closed-door process by which this agreement was drafted and finalized. it concerns me a lax enforcement mechanism to ensure automakers follow through on their commitment. in the wake of an auto emission scandal, a claim the recall rate, rising traffic fatalities, now is the time for greater accountability, greater transparency and better communication between automakers and the agency charged with regulating them, as well as the public, not just sent folder principles. congress passed a transportation funding bill for fast act. that was a missed opportunity to address accountability,
transparency and communication. it should have dealt with car safety come speeding up the recall process and eliminate regional recalls among other things. that vehicle safety improvement act of 2015, the bill that ranking member schakowsky mentioned a that i cosponsored last year would make those changes and a lot more. are built as a starting point to make sure the millions of drivers and passengers on our roads are kept safe. this year is the 50th anniversary of the national traffic and motor vehicle safety act of 1966, the law that created nhtsa, the auto alliance sustained fatalities as a share of miles traveled are down 80% since the law's passage. we need to continue that legacy and not move backwards. we are underway towards incredible advances in the automotive space but we need to make sure consumers get to see the end of afford to continue our discussion about how best to move forward.
thank you, mr. chairman. >> that chair thanks the gentleman. the gentleman yields back and that concludes members opening statements and the chair would like to remind members that pursuant to committee rules all members opening statements will be made part of the record. and again thanks to all of our witness on both panels for being here today and taking the time to testify before the subcommittee. we will have to panels in each panel will have an opportunity to give an opening statement followed by questions from members. once we conclude the first built there will be a brief recess to set up for the second panel and a witness panel for today's hearing includes on the first panel doctor mark rosen kind of thank you. we appreciate your being here today. we appreciate your willingness to be available to members of the subcommittee. we appreciate your making available coming to your
facility and looking to see what you and your fine folks do on a daily basis. you are not recognized for five minutes for an opening stateme statement. [inaudible] >> chairman burgess, ranking member schakowsky, member membef the committee, thank you for the opportunity to update you on the national highway traffic safety administration efforts to save lives and prevent crashes and reduce the economic fatalities on our roads. last you with one of the most eventful in nhtsa's history fisher promises to be just as significant. in road safety we face a large and tragically growing challenge. we lost 32675 lives on american roads in 2014. as you also our estimates show traffic fatalities. of grown up by 9% in 2015. i believe the only acceptable role is zero traffic deaths.
every american should be able to drive, ride or walk to the destination safely every time. that physical address our work. earlier this year secretary fox announced $1.2 billion budget for nhtsa that includes important as the end let's say everything from somebody safety technology such as vehicle automation. is funding will support our efforts to build on the progress we've already made in preventing are defective investigation programmer i urge your support for the president's budget proposal. i will begin with a topic that receives far less public attention and it is too. human behavior on the roads. and human choice is responsible 4904% of all crashes. through decades of success we know they're highly effective methods to combat these unsafe behaviors but we also know simply doing more of the same will not get the job done. a series of 20 traffic so much across the country this year we challenged stakeholders to develop ideas and innovative
approaches to make the roads safer. those efforts will continue as we develop short and long term strategy to eliminate traffic fatalities. nhtsa is continue to act on multiple fronts to raise the level of safety in the vehicles that are already on our roads. nhtsa has issued a final required electronic control on heavy vehicles and propose rules to protect consumers from unsafe novelty motorcycle helmets and upgrade were impacted cars and trucks and trailers. we are working on a world regard the installation of speed limiters. technology that can prevent tens of thousands of crashes every year. nhtsa is waiting on vehicle safety the on the regulatory process. last month we join auto manufacturers to announce a historic commitment to the automatic emergency braking in more than 99% of all new cars by 2022. this agreement will make the standard three-year faster and at the agency and try to achieve
a single only to the regulatory process preventing thousands of crashes in saving lives. a proposed update to the five star safety reprogram will put more information about safety enhanced of car buyers. the update will for the first time -- crash avoidance and but vehicles on how well they present and medicaid the harm of desperate index. nhtsa leaving fort on autonomous vehicle technology. this year we'll offer manufacturers operational deployment guidance that outlines how autonomous vehicles should perform on the roads. we will work with partners to provide model safe policies and identify new tools and authorities at nhtsa may need so we can be sure they'd our goal of encouraging safe innovation. while the individual must also make it our focus on safety today. in 2015 nhtsa initiate a record seven nearly 900 recall campaign affecting about 51 million vehicles and we've impose record-setting penalties.
nhtsa launched an aggressive effort to go to accelerate takata recalls currently totaling 28.8 million airbag inflated. our program accelerated the recall remedy process by two years or more. this is perhaps the most aggressive use of the agency's enforcement authority in its history. while identify defects is an important safety mission we woeferulpro avoid the problem in the first place. in january secretary foxx announced historic agreement with 18 auto manufacturers on issues of concrete commitment to safety including targeting 100% remedy completion rates. this agreement could change the safety conversation from reactive to proactive helping us catch issues sooner or prevent them from happening at all. we were recently tragic reminded just how perch in this work is. two weeks ago today a 70 new driver lost her life after that they can't airbag in your car
ruptured after a crash near future. the local shows that if it were not for the rupture she would've been able to walk away from that crash. the inflator had already been recalled but the repair had not been completed. we all playable in making sure another tragedy like this doesn't happen again. you with your nhtsa talk a lot in the next year about proactive safety come about the need for all of us with walter protecting the public to make safety our highest priority. doing so will require new ways of thinking for nhtsa, automakers and suppliers, for two years, for state advocates and for the public. i appreciate the opportunity to testify and i'm pleased to answer your questions. >> the chair thanks the gentlemen for the testimony. let me begin by recognize myself for five minutes for questions. and again i appreciate your being here today. can you tell us since this last incident was so recent, and i do know i seen any sort of official right up of what occurred, but
the airbag unit in question was under recall but what was the difficult in getting the recall information to the end-user? >> specific to that case that was a 2011 recall actual for a different manufacturing defect. the manufacture report stated -- six notice to the family. fm reports not receiving any them so that is being investigated right now. >> survey seems like we've uncovered a weak spot in what should be the vehicle notification and the user getting back to get the problem taken care of. is this a problem because this was a second or third owner of was this the original owner of the car? >> we believe it was a used vehicle, so multiple owners of the vehicle. and you hit on it, which is as much as is currently being done
to notify people, it's not enough. so we have been working with the automakers. we got her own programs. we are just as tough as with independent monitor 19 new strategies, more robust ones for the automakers and takata to go after informing people that are available. we have her own about a dozen activities going on with nhtsa including a new national campaign, safe car save lives, and many different things. ..
>> i mean, look, state of texas every year i've got to talk my car somewhere, and the guy checks the turn signal. and i'm happy to comply with it because then i can drive my car for another year without getting a traffic ticket. is there any way to add the compliance with recalls at the state level as part of the armament of things that they check, along with pollution and turn signals and tire wear? is it possible to add this information as well? >> yes. and thank you for the fast act, because this is just one example of one of the elements that can help promote better recalls. what you're identifying is a pilot program. right now there is no procedure, this is no technology or funding, basically, to figure out how to go and do this. when you get your car registered, is the way to notify people. what's great about the pilot program, up to six states can work with us to figure out what
the procedures need to be, what technology needs to be in place and, basically, how the procedures are going to go to make sure that happens correctly. our vin look-up is for consumers one person at a time. here you're looking at hundreds of thousands of look-ups potentially daily to get that work done. we have to figure out how to do it. it'd be a great touchpoint to inform people. >> you know, somehow when you make it important to people, it can involve money, and instead of making it punitive if there were a proactive way, and this, of course, is probably a question i need to ask ask the manufactures, actually an incentive program to comply with a vehicle safety recall if one's been identified, then i would encourage if there are any manufacturers who are listening today to consider that approach as well. i've got to ask you this because a little known fact as i'm also chair of the motorcycle caucus, and you mentioned novelty motorcycle helmet problems.
can you tell me what the problem is there? i was not aware of that. >> there's a group of manufacturers that put out a novelty helmet that does not meet the standard. people put the helmet on thinking they're protecting themselves, and it does not. >> and these are sold as motorcycle helmets? >> absolutely. so if you didn't know what you were buying, and you just thought it looked different and cool thinking you were getting the same protection, you would not be. >> is there a requirement -- would there be any way for a consumer to know this is a nhtsa-approved device they've purchased? >> there is a d.o.t. label so you would know it's correct, but these are manufactured and put out there in certain places, so we're acting to try to take care of of that. >> but it's not that there's a counterfeit label, there's no label. >> it's different depending on how people are producing them. people don't know that they should be looking for a label. they just think it's a helmet that probably should be protecting them.
>> all right. full service subcommittee. i learned something new today, and i hope our motorcycle public is paying attention and will only buy official helmets. i recognize the ranking member of the subcommittee five minutes for questions, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, dr. rosekind. the massive ongoing recalls of that cat that airbags -- takata airbags has remained a problem. add of yesterday, more than 85 million can be recalled unless takata can prove they're safe. dr. rosekind, questions about takata inflaters are endless. for example, consumers want to know how we can get accurate information to better understand which inflaters are going into what cars. and recently nhtsa stated that if a car company cannot meet the requirement to require a sufficient supply of remedy parts, the company should continue its, quote,
like-for-like, unquote, program replacing older, defective airbags with newer, identical bags. so my questions are these: does that mean that the company will be putting a potentially defective airbag into a car with the hope that it is better just because it's newer? and is the consumer told this important information at the time that the airbag is replaced? >> so i need to begin by making sure everybody understands. since their inception, 42,000 lives have been saved by airbags. that's the difficulty of this situation. a piece of safety equipment is putting people at risk. so what is now known based on testing is there are at least five different factors that rate the risk about a rupture. thats has to do with temperature, moisture, time, the driver versus passenger side and whether it has a moisture-absorbing additive that can be placed in there. so one of the issues that you're talking about is at this point
we're only seeing ruptures at seven and a half years. and that is with all the other risk factors involved as well. so what you're talking about is right now with supplies there are a certain number that are being replaced that have at least a seven-and-a-half year time span available for that safety to protect people in the vehicle. >> so is the consumer promised a later date to come in and get a permanent remedy? >> absolutely. and you're hitting, in fact, when we announced this recall, the hardest part, frankly, is you've hit on one of the most difficult things. you're talking about people potentially having to come twice. what you're describing is an interim remedy that will provide more safety, but they're going to have to come back for a second time. this is why we've emphasized the 100%. because you don't want people to get that first one and think they're done. >> right. there's news reports that indicate companies other than takata are making replacement airbags, and are those suppliers making the inflaters to the old specific, specifications or the new ones?
and are these companies required to make the inflaters without ammonium nitrate? >> there are three other manufacturers, auto lead, dicell and trw. they now produce about 70% of the inflaters being currently produced for replacement. none of them use ammonium nitrate. >> okay. >> none of them have had any safety problems identified. >> and how does the consumer know if her car's replacement airbag is a replica of the airbag that it was made to replace, and similarly, how does the consumer know whether the new airbag she got in the last two years needs to be replaced? and finally, how does she know whether the new one contains ammonium nitrate-based propel habits? >> the simplest thing would be to go to safercar dove, do the vin look-up. if you go in and the dealer tells you it's the interim remedy can, you would know
you're going to have to be called back again for that second fix. >> safercar.gov. i am troubled by the report that that some auto manufacturers may still be selling new vehicles with potentially defective takata inflaters. what is nhtsa doing to insure that all new cars are free of these airbags? >> well, it would be illegal to sell a known defect in a new car. so if you're aware of anything, let us know, because that's something we would go and investigate. so there should be no vehicles -- again, there are some that are getting like for like. right now the recalls, i think, go back to 2014. but all those are being tracked because of that seven-and-a-half year rupture timeline. >> so you're unaware of any reports that some auto manufacturers are doing that? is that what you are saying? you said i should inform you, but have you heard that as well? >> right -- >> no, you have not. >> unless it's something we know about because, again, there are
some that haven't been recalled because of the time. >> okay. >> but otherwise we're not aware of any -- >> okay. thank you. and i yield back. >> gentlelady yields back. chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. kinzinger, five minutes for questions, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. sir, thank you for being here and thank you for serving the country in your capacity. chairman, thanks for holding this hearing for us to continue our committee's oversight of nhtsa and the review related safety issues within the automotive industry. i'd especially like to thank the chairman and committee for their support to include my amendment in the fast act. i think it takes an important step forward requiring automakers to include more information. sharing defective part numbers and identifiable information with recyclers will improve safety and aid nhtsa in its
role. section 24116 of the fast act requires automakers to furnish additional information in their 575 reports such as the name of the component, a description of the component and the part number. do you have any information what's the status of implementation of this this section? >> yes. an important component, if you will, of that act. and so name, description and part number already underway to include that according to what's in the fast act. >> okay. and do you know does it require a rulemaking or not? >> yes. >> okay, all right. and as nhtsa -- has nhtsa reached out to stakeholders such as the automotive recyclers association for technical assistance and input on implementing this section? >> and they've been very forthcoming. they've already come to meet with us. >> good. you feel like it's a good relationship? >> very productive interactions. >> okay, great. has any information been received from oems under this section of the new law? >> any --
>> any new information, any information been received from them under -- >> we're still in the producive phase. >> okay. >> we'll interact with them as well to make sure what we produce will be something they can fulfill. >> do you have any idea on the timeline on this? >> i'll tell you for sure we will meet the fast act requirement. >> okay. and then how will the information supplied through this section of the law be available to the public or to stakeholders? i mean, ideally are you going to have it, like, a static pdf form? electronic database? is there anything that you kind of foresee? >> that's the part that's trying to be figured out. >> okay. >> that's not just with the recyclers, but again, the form we ask the oems, obviously, can facilitate how we make that information available. that's being worked on now. >> okay, good. my office will continue to insure that, you know, everything's going correctly and appreciate your service. mr. chairman, that's all i have for this witness. i appreciate it. >> gentleman yields back.
the chair thanks the gentleman. the chair recognizes ms. clark for five womans for your questions -- five minutes for your questions, please. >> thank you, dr. rosekind, for coming in today. am i pronouncing your name correctly? >> rosekind. >> rose cienld. okay, that was the brooklyn pronunciation. i think it is safe to assume that cars are going to continue to come equipped with more technological features going forward. protections exist through programs such as onstar and built-in navigation systems. but as we've heard in numerous hearings in this subcommittee, covering different aspects of the internet of things, if a product can connect to the internet, that product is going to be a target for hackers. dr. rosekind, what is nhtsa doing to insure that the growing number of connected features in cars don't become new entree points for hackers? what are the consequences for automakers that do not have robust cybersecurity?
and does nhtsa have plans to pursue a rulemaking on cybersecurity? >> so let me start with the consequences. last july there was a highly-visible hack of a jeep which was at least planned, so there has been no malicious hack of any vehicle yet. but we highlighted it, it's no longer a con kept. it's -- concept. it's real. within days defect was called and a recall was underway. so we're going to act aggressively and get on those when possible. but you're bringing up an issue which is the more connected everything is, the more cybersecurity becomes critical. nhtsa's been on this since 2012 when we created an office specifically focused on it. this is my chance to thank everybody for their support in the fast act. we have about seven engineers on this, four in washington, three in ohio, and the fast act is going to allow us up to 20 new engineers to look at this. they are looking at a broad range from how you protect
things to one of our recent research is what are the specific elements you would have to collect to see that hacking attempts were ongoing. there's an active research program going on as well as a lot of others. we've published a cybersecurity piece on our policy. we're developing some new program elements. january we held a meeting with over 300 folks coming together, manufacturers as well as independent and researchers to get to look at these sorts of things. specifically to your question, this is an area where we need to figure out how to sort of cut that middle line which is we talk about nimble and flexible for cybersecurity. if you come out with a rule today, by tomorrow it could be out of date. and yet at the same time, you need some best practices and potentially rules to establish certain kinds of hard protections in things. so i think this is an area you're going to have to see a variety of different techniques used to get the full kind of protection the american public can expect. >> very well. as you referred to, the jeep experiment with the two researchers. dr. rosekind, when it comes to
cars, cybersecurity isn't about data. it can really be about a safety issue, can't it? a joint bulletin that nhtsa released with the fbi a month ago said that consumers should take appropriate steps to minimize risks with respect to hacking. can you explain what some of those steps might be? >> yes. and thank you, because you're right. our focus is primarilien on the -- primarily on the safety, and that hack that was done on the jeep last july specifically dealt with control systems of the vehicle. and that's where the safety concern comes. and, yeah, thanks for acknowledging the collaboration with the fbi and putting that out. and that had a lot of straightforward things that all of us can do, which is be careful what you hook up to your entertainment system. that jeep hack went through the entertainment system, for example. and i think all of us, basically, can think about all of the things we attach to our vehicles whether you're nowadays a huge number connected to the web. if you're out there searching
you have a chance not just for a virus to be difficult for you, but literally to get into your systems. there's a nice list of things in that press release that was put out basically cautioning people. if you think about it, you would want to do the same things you would do for your home computer to protect yourself, to think about your car in the same way. >> i thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back the balance of my time. >> gentlelady yields back. recognize the gentlelady from indiana, beg your pardon, ms. brooks. five minutes for questions, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i consider my district, actually, the auto auction capital of the united states. car auction services, which is headquartered in my district, is the second largest auto auction company in north america selling over four million vehicles per year, employs 14,000 people in all 50 states. and also north of indianapolis have next gear capital, just expanding their headquarters in carmel, and i've been to their facility where they serve other
20,000 auto dealers who depend on them for $13 billion in capital to fund their auction purchases. they tell me they, of course, want to help protect people by insuring that they know that their customers know of car defects before they buy. but right now safercar.gov only allows customers to search vin numbers at a time -- one at a time to check for recalls. with over nine million cars sold at auction every year, auto auctions simply don't have the manpower or the resources to tediously input every single number. and so by allowing auto auctions to run every car in their lot for recall notices in one query, the consumer would be more equipped to make better decisions, higher successful recall rates and ultimately fewer accidents on the road. and, obviously, we've been talking about the fast act passed last year, and it studied the feasibility of searching multiple vin numbers at the same time and the feasibility of
making the search mechanism for the event. can you give me an update on the progress you've made and nhtsa's made with respect to the the search of multiple numbers at once and what hurdles do you still face? >> and, actually, you've just described them, which is the nhtsa look-up is a tool for consumers. and we don't actually even maintain the database. that's really just tapping the auto manufacturers who control their vin databases. so we know there's a great need and interest in having what's called batch or bulk look-ups so that you can do it as a group, and the auction houses, new dealerships, all kinds of folks would really benefit by that. so we've met with folks, and i think the biggest thing we're seeing is the technology challenge. you're talking about the creation of some mechanism, as i just said -- ours, we don't even keep the database, we go to the manufacturers -- how would you create a mechanism, basically, technologically so you could have those bulk requests going to multiple manufacturers in a very short time frame and
providing that bulk answer, basically, to whomever the requester is. i think at most at this point is a technology challenge and, clearly, how it would get funded is unclear as well. everybody's sort of pointing to that. there are three commercial entities that do that, car fax is one of them, i can get you the other two, if you'd like. so we are looking -- we met in july again, frankly, to talk about what would happen. i think the technology's the biggest piece right now, because no one quite has an answer how to pull that off. >> isn't part of our challenge that we have so many people who do purchase vehicles that are moving through the auto auctions, and so there are -- consumers, it's very, very difficult for them to know if they are getting one of these cars that has one of these problems. >> absolutely. and just two things. one is when i say there's a technological challenge, that doesn't mean we're off of it, we're trying to be more aggressive to figure out how could you fix that issue. the fast act addressed for
rental cars, but in used cars people can still sell those without having the recall remedied. so that's ooh one of the -- that's one of the ways to get to those. we're still meeting with them to figure out what the technological solution could be. >> i sure hope some of your engineers are working on those cyber issues, with all of that brain power, also be tasked to have that as a topic. i want to turn to a different topic right now. last year or this past month, rather, griffith 4508 boys' basketball team was traveling to a semi-state championship. a driver sideswiped their bus, and the bus flipped and overturned as they were on the way to their semi-state game. none of the children were seriously injured. however, it reminds us all about the importance of getting seat belts on school buses. and last september you announced ooh -- a series of steps
designed to move the nation towards providing more seat belts on school buses. can you please tell us about the research products, data collection, stakeholder outreach? what's going on with respect to this project? >> i can't thank you enough for raising that question. there's so many headlines people want to talk about. that's one for four decades there's been debate about putting seat belts on school buses and, yes, it's a clear departure to say three-point belts would add -- the big yellow bus is the safest way to get to and from. can you make it safer? absolutely. we've had a one-day meeting to talk about how to make that happen. it's not just about seat belts on the bus, it's around the bus. so we're looking at everything from the red lights on the arms to guards that help people pass in front. we're looking at all those different things including our most recent meeting about a month ago where we pulled the six states that do have laws relating seat belts to figure out what they're doing and how
to scale that to the rex of the country. we're on that to support three-point seat belts on school buses. >> thank you for your service. i yield back. >> chair thanks the lady. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey, the ranking member of the full committee, mr. pallone, five minutes for questions, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as others have mentioned today, in january d.o.t. and 18 automakers reached an agreement known as the proactive safe tiff principles, and i'm glad to see them trying to work proactively but, frankly, i have doubts about these principles. the principles are simply a promise to try to work together in the future. there's no substance. and even if there were, there's no enforcement to insure that the automakers keep their commitments. so i wanted to ask ask you, dr. rosekind, can you assure me that these principles are meaningful in some way, that these principles are more than a pr stunt to shift the focus away
from the major safety crisis of the past few years? >> you're absolutely correct. it's not a regulation, and they're notten forcible. and i can tell you in april we had a meeting for the very first time to discuss with the automakers 100% recall completion target rate. never before has -- everyone has always talked about let's get 75%, because that's the average. we're now talking about 100% should be that target. that's in there. can everybody do more? absolutely. but now we have a new target. that's already in there. i think the automatic emergency braking that we've seen happen another proactive one, and in the cybersecurity area, chrysler actually in may is having their own two-day just industry meeting to focus on things. that wasn't intended to be a regulation, that wasn't intended for enforcement. we're going to use all the enforcement regulatory authority we have. we're not giving anything up. my concern is the 32,675 and that we're looking at a 9% increase this year.
and we all know if we keep doing the same thing, we cannot expect a different outcome. we'll figure out ways to do it better, but nhtsa is looking for every other tool that we can find that could help save a life. >> all right. but in addition -- and i appreciate that, because i think that, you know, even though you're admitting that there's no enforcement mechanism per se, that you're going to try to use, you know, other measures that you have to do that. in addition to the lack of enforcement though, i also have reservations about the closed-door process that nhtsa has been engaging in recently with regard to the proactive safety principles where any auto safety advocates directly involved -- were any directly involved in creating the principles? >> that process started on december 1st when secretary fox called all the ceos in because of all the recall and safety problems going on in the industry. there's clearly beyond just the breaking records an issue of the safety culture in the industry.
he called them in and said we need to do something different. and six weeks later that agreement emerged among them, basically, to come up with these principles in those four areas. so that started with a meeting with the automakers. six weeks later -- through the hold holidays, frankly, is when it came together. there was not a public process. there was not -- that was come in, what are you going to change, and that was agreement that came together. and i'll say it again, it's not intended to be a regulation, it's not intended to be enforcement, but everybody's watching. and we already have some concrete things like that agreement looking to target 100% completion. activity's already going on, cybersecurity already being advanced. we have a safety meeting coming up next week, basically, where we are going to be looking at how to take aviation lessons learned and apply them to the auto industry. so in that agreement, it talks about anonymous sharing of safety data. that meeting to start that process is actually happening next friday, there are --
>> so, i mean, there weren't any auto safety directly involved, but how are you going to try to get them involved? what are you going to do? >> that agreement is public, it's out there. the activities are basically aware, so anybody can have input and that, again, was an agreement of the manufacturers to proactively move things forward. >> so, i mean, there wasn't any public comment period -- >> it was not a regulation. it's not intended to be enforced. >> no, i understand. i mean, i appreciate your honesty about lack of enforcement, you know, lack of involvement of the auto safety advocates, lack of a comment period. i mean, i don't think that's good, but i appreciate your honesty m but, you know, how are we going to, you know, we don't want to have a similar agreement like this in the future. i mean, i think it's important to involve the public safety advocates, it's important to
have public comments, a public comment period prior to finalization. so, i mean, can you make some commitment to us that in the future you'll try to do that, or what can you tell us that makes me a little, feel a little better about the lack of all this? >> well, nhtsa's going to look for all the tools that are available, and that means we're going to have as much interaction with a full range of safety advocates for all the activities that are going on. and, frankly, some of the process have clear elements where, you know, notice and comment for rulemaking, there are opportunities for everybody to get involved in the public docket, etc. there are always going to be other activities that certain groups aren't going to be involved in. >> i mean, i guess my concern -- i know my time has run out, mr. chairman, is that these voluntary good practices on the part of business are certainly something we hope for, but the rulemaking process exists for a reason, and mandatory safety standards have prevented more than 600,000 deaths since the
1960s. i don't want the agency moving away from mandatory standards. that's my concern. >> and that's why i can state absolutely emphatically that we will continue to regulate and enforce as we need to, and we are looking at -- we want to expand and add to our tool set that we can try and see progress on safety. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> chair thanks the gentleman, chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky, mr. guthrie, five minutes for questions, please. >> thank you, administrator rosekind, for testifying. it's my understanding that what is sometimes called the one nation program referring to fuel economy regulations was intended to coordinate or harmonize various federal and state regulations as much as possible. since there are effectively three separate sets of regulations that are epa, nhtsa and state regulation, it's come to my attention that differences between even the federal programs make compliance more difficult. first, do you agree that the development of the one nation program was to provide
consistency and certainty for automakers? >> yes, among those three groups that you highlights, nhtsa, epa and especially the california resource board. >> are you ware of the differences between the -- aware of the differences between programs -- >> specific ones? >> well, one, if i'm not mistaken, epa credits can have a usable life of up to ten years versus nhtsa that credit's having five years of life? so an epa credit could be come pint with epa but not with nhtsa? do you see that as a conflict? >> one is, a specific incidence of somebody questioning where that inconsistency is, i would love to see that so we can see what's actually going on there. >> okay. >> but to the question about consistency more generally, there is a midterm review that's coming up where we'll be putting out a technical assessment report so we can, basically, take a look at how that's doing, and a draft report will come out for exactly those kinds of
comments that people can address. >> that was a specific instance. somebody didn't come to me and say that they have been written up for being compliant, but they look at the standard and say there's a potential for being in compliance with epa but not with what nhtsa's asking for. that was an example of one i wanted to bring out. but, so we'll have an opportunity during the comment period to comment on that. that could be an inconsistency if that's the case, right? >> and, again, if there's a specific incidence, they should let us know. because there is sort of one rule outhere they should with going by. they can let us know, we can absolutely take a look at it. but more importantly, in that midterm review, there'll be a draft that everybody can comment. >> okay. we'll follow up specific on that then. so shifting to recalls and focusing on the millions of motorists and occupant toes who are driving or riding in vehicles under open recall, what is the status of the new media campaign you announced last september? >> there have actually been a variety of activities going on.
that one is safe cars safe lives, and we're doing media buys. and nhtsa has click it or ticket it, you drive, you text, you pay. we have these national campaigns. this is a new one focused specifically on recalls. the other two things i'll just mention quickly are besides our activities going on, the automobile association's been doing research and looking at other mechanisms, things like contacting the insurance companyings so that when you not just register your car, but when you touch your insurance company, another touch point. and then the independent monitor is also working with takata and all of the manufacturers affected. as part of the consent order, they're required to give us their outreach plan. that way we can actually look at it, and we've come up with almost 20 new robust strategies for them to pursue along with the about dozen things we already have underway. >> takata, obviously, is a case -- the recall, obviously, is different. but there are a lot of recalls for a lot of different reasons. do you look at recalls for
things like your door handle needs to be readjusted? i've never seen one specific, but people say if it's a typo in the owner's manual, you get a recall notice on that. i personally haven't seen that one, but i do see recalls for cars that i have, and i'll get around to that one because it's a screw in the chair seat or something hike that versus, obviously, takata that's a safety. is there a way that you are concerned about people continuing getting recalls and all of a sudden one's more serious than the other, i guess recall fatigue? >> absolutely. and i think that's been the problem with the headlines, is people get so many notices potentially when you're looking at -- i mentioned the number, but last year, 2015 was 900. the year before, we're talking about 51 million vehicle ares being affected. and so, yeah, consumers just knowing that's something they need to pay attention to is a challenge. and then if you're getting multiple ones for different cars, that is a real problem. >> uh-huh. yeah -- >> that's -- i apologize.
that's why we're trying to come up with new strategies, new approaches. i think the tragedy from a couple weeks ago shows we've got to do more. >> absolutely. and then i only have 19 seconds. you said publicly and your taffe has said that auto safety technologies may have environmental benefits that would reduce greenhouse gases. could you give a couple of examples of that in eight seconds? [laughter] sorry. >> engines that are more efficient. >> [inaudible] >> chair thanks the gentleman. gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. mullen, five minutes for questions, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. sir, thank you for being here. it's very impressive, your command and knowledge of nhtsa. i think the whole time you've been there, i haven't seen you even look back at anybody behind you or even look at a note. so i will commend you for that. i'm not capable of doing that. [laughter] i just want to run a little bit
on this, the recalls. finish you know, unfortunately, we heard of the young lady that lost her life, and that's been wrought up and talked about -- brought up and talked about. there were some questions about how the vehicle was registered. i get that too. but i have on multiple vehicles -- owned multiple vehicles over time, and i still get recalls from vehicles that i owned years ago. there not -- i mean, unless i'm mistaken, i thought that dmvs were supposed to notify or help notify the individuals when they are registered with them of recalls. but is there, is the dmvs communicating with the manufacturers to let them know that the vehicle has changed hands? some way to get those notifications out there? was what we're having is, obviously, it's not being effective. and i understand the responsibility of the driver, but at the same time when you buy a vehicle new or used, you assume everything's perfect on it.
you're not looking for recalls. if you're looking for recalls, you would have never purchased the vehicle. so is there communications with the state, with the manufacturer, with the dmvs? what is that communication like? >> yeah, there should be, but you've just hit on a besides things like fatigue recall -- recall fatigue, you're hitting on another issue which is where in the communication did that break down. because one of the -- concerns you're just raising is when there's a multiple buyer, you know, you've had a used car that's been bought by multiple buyers over time. there is the assumption that somehow that transition of ownership has been taken care of, that all the appropriate information has been passed on. that's not always tracked. so now your looking at -- you're looking at the whole system. the notices, even if they have updated information on the owner and making sure they're sending et to the right address where you actually live.
you just hit on another issue we're trying to unravel. that's why there's the interest in the dmv pilot. if you're going to register the car, we could get you again. and i would actually like to use you in an ad, because you've got it. if you buy a new car, used car, rent a car, your assumption is that you have no outstanding recalls. >> right. >> not the case. >> well, and the other breakdown, too, you can't -- i have a fleet of vehicles. and several mechanics that work for us in our companies. and you can't work on a car anymore without plugging it into a computer. you would seem that there would be a way for a notification to come up on a vehicle and everything connected as it is regardless if the manufacturer is, it's working at, you know, a certifies gm mechanic or the mechanic down the road. you would think that would be a way to communicate. because everybody's got to take their vehicles in and get the oil changed.
very few people are changing the oil in their driveway. that might be a way. and i'm open to discussing it further with you, maybe some simple ways we might be able to come up with some more communication, more ways for just the average consumer to be able to get the technology or the information they need. i want to go back to ms. brooks bringing up the school bus issue. i have five kids go to public school from 12 to 5 years of age. they're going to be there for a while. and they're on a school bus all the time. the question is, though, i don't think any school is arguing the fact they want to put seat belts in the school buses, it's that they can't afford it. so is nhtsa looking at a program to help the schools? if we just mandate it for the schools to do it, they can't -- i mean, schools are having issues with revenue left and right. we continuously put unfunded mandates on the school systems. and you're not going to find a teacher or superintendent or someone elected to the school
board that's going to argue the point that they don't want seat belts in the school buses. but we've got to have some type of program to incentivize them to do it and funding that goes along with it. >> and we're looking at all those possibilities. and to your point, we don't want school districts to make the choice to not provide that safe school bus because of their concern about the seat belts. that's, again, one of those fine lines we have to spread. >> sure. >> that's why we came out with a policy but without the mandate at this point, try and figure out how other states and school systems have done it. we've met folks where they're made a decision to only order new buses with three-point belts. they found a way to pull it off. >> well, it's the old buses. we know how expensive the new buses are. how long is it going to take to get the old buses off the road. that's -- you're talking about, you're talking about years at that point. i'm out of time, sir. thank you for being here. really do appreciate it. >> thank you.
>> i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. the chair thanks the gentleman. chair would recognize ms. schakowsky from illinois for a redirect? the chair will recognize himself for the opportunity for redirection of the administrator for the national highway traffic safety administration. there is something that has come up relatively recently that i hear on car shows on saturday morning, and that is the issue of the seat back integrity. we put our children in car seats, we put them in the rear seat, but in some vehicle crashes the seat integrity of the seatback is what fails, putting the adult then in the compartment with the child where the child is then injured. is this something you're looking into currently? >> yes. and fortunately, severe rear
impacts, severe, are fairly rare. and then when someone's specifically injured trying to determine specifically the seatback strength is also more rare. which just means trying to get the data to figure out safety benefit and other benefit determinations and things can be challenge. but we're looking at that from a potential regulatory standpoint and from a research standpoint. so even if we don't have the real world data, we're looking at, actually, a new test dummy that would allow us to collect better data to make that determination which we would have to do to come out with a regulation in that area. >> very well. and then another unusual thing that happened in the north texas area the day after christmas is we had a very severe tornado, blew up suddenly, came at nighttime, difficult to let people know it's coming. the greatest loss of life occurred on a tollway overpass.
not people getting under it to get out of the path of the storm which we recognize as a bad idea, but these were people actually traveling over the overpass, and they got pulled off the road and there were multiple fatalities. department of transportation has lighted signs that they put up, and as you alluded to, the click it or ticket, or don't drive -- drive sober, get pulled over. sometimes it'll be traffic warnings. is there any thought to providing timely weather warnings, hailstorm that we just had a few days ago in my area, this tornado the day after christmas? people that are, i'd like to say that everybody's listening to the weather warning station at that point, but we know they're not. they're listening to their sound systems. is there anything additionally we can do? this was kind of a new phenomenon, something i had not seen before.
people, again, literally sucked off the overpass and thrown into the lake and, again, with great loss of life. >> you've just said it which is we use those signs for a lot of different things, and i will go and talk to the administrator of the federal highway administration and see if that kind of information could be added to what's transmitted to the drivers. >> i appreciate that. do you mind if i go to mr. bilirakis first? >> no, that's fine. >> okay. chair recognizes mr. bilirakis five minutes for questions. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman, i appreciate it. administrator rosekind, where do we stand currently with the v2v, and what -- well, if you can tell me that, and then elaborate a little bit how it's going to work. >> sure. let's start with people talk about either/or, connected vehicles or autonomous, self-driving vehicles. department of transportation thinks of this as connected automation. it's really both, because they both give you sort of added
safety. connected vehicles have, basically, v to v, vehicle to vehicle are, vehicle to cur, v to x, anything else they're going to be able to talk about. what we know is studies so far suggest even two applications of v to v could prevent 600,000 crashes and save a thousand lives. so it has huge opportunity overall potentially, 80% of crashes -- >> this hearing lasts about another ten minutes. you can see that portion and all of it anytime on c-span.org. we will leave the hearing at c this point and return to the u.s. senate as they work on an energy modernization bill which would update the nation's electric grid and improve energy standards for buildings. senators will also debate a number of amendments with votes on those and final passage later today.