With help from Tanya Snyder and Oriana Pawlyk 

Quick fix

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska.), dean of the Houseand former Transportation Committee chair, died on Friday.


It could be a big week in Washington for container shipping companies, as Congress weighs imposing new laws on the industry for the first time since 1984.

The Commerce Department is banning Russian-owned planes from the U.S. and has published a list of planes to incentivize similar bans around the world.

ITS MONDAY: Youre reading Morning Transportation, your Washington policy guide to everything that moves. Send tips, pitches, feedback and song lyrics to us at [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected] You can also find us on Twitter: @alextdaugherty,@TSnyderDC and @Oriana0214.

I was walking through icy streams/That took my breath away/Moving slowly through westward/Water over glacial plains

On the Hill

YOUNGS TRANSPORTATION LEGACY: Alaska Republican Don Young, who died Friday at 88 while returning to Alaska, led the House Transportation Committee from 2001 to 2007 and famously named a $286 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill, SAFETEA-LU, after his late wife, Lu Young. After his sudden death he had been on Capitol Hill earlier Friday plaudits rolled in for the man who once pulled a knife on former House Speaker John Boehner.

While Young faced multiple House Ethics probes and federal investigations related to his use of campaign funds, he was untouchable at home, where he won reelection with ease every two years and routinely bragged of his ability to get earmarks into federal spending bills. Though the full picture is more complicated, two bridge projects in Alaska dubbed together the “bridges to nowhere” that he fought for along with another late Alaska political legend, Sen. Ted Stevens, in part were responsible for Congress’ decision to ban earmarks.

One thing I learned is not to mess w salmon stuff, tweeted former Rep. Ryan Costello (R-Pa.) after Costello announced his retirement in 2018. The salmon get what they want around here. Same w whatever the hell Don Young wants.

INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORTER: House Transportation Committee ranking member Sam Graves (R-Mo.), saidin a statement on Young’s death that there was no greater supporter of infrastructure among congressional Republicans and that Young led the way in passing many pieces of legislation to strengthen Americas infrastructure. Graves said he plans to name the upcoming Coast Guard authorization bill in Youngs honor.

BIPARTISAN TO THE END: Transportation Committee chair Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) alluded to Youngs steadfast support of the recently passed infrastructure law, despite pressure from House Republican leaders and former President Donald Trump to thwart President Joe Bidens legislative agenda.

His service as Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee was impactful, capped by the passage of the SAFETEA-LU, DeFazio said in a statement. It was a strong bipartisan bill, with good policy and needed investment in infrastructure. In later years as his party moved to the extreme right fringes, Don stayed true to his values.

POLITICALLY UNTOUCHABLE: Young, known for shouting in the House chamber to keep votes moving, was one of a few Republicans who showed up to the White House for last years infrastructure law signing ceremony. In response to calls by some Republicans to launch primary threats against the 13 House GOP members who voted for the bill, Young said he never worried about any threat. He had already announced plans to run for a 26th term this year.

But the Alaskan still had gruff words for Biden’s choice to hold an outdoor bill signing ceremony on a cold, windy day. We were wondering when you were going to stop for a moment. We damn near froze to death, Young said to the president.

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WHY CONGRESS CARES ABOUT CONTAINER SHIPS: As the House and Senate begin the process of potentially revamping ocean shipping laws for the first time since 1984, your MT host has a rundown on the major issues at play and why both parties are largely in agreement with Bidens assessment that container shipping companies are hurting U.S. exporters and consumers.

BILL A-MOVIN The House passed language that would overhaul container shipping regulations as part of a broader bill seeking to help the U.S. better compete with China, H.R. 4521 (117). The Senate has begun following suit Senate Commerce Committee chair Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) announced that the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, S. 3580 (117), a bill that would impose more rules and potential penalties on ocean shipping carriers, will receive a markupTuesday,and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday that he plans to call the bill up to the Senate floor with hopes to pass it next week.

BIG SHIPS, EASY TARGETS: The world’s largest container shipping companies all belong to one of three shipping alliances: 2M, the Ocean Alliance or THE Alliance which have come under legal scrutiny over antitrust concerns. The European Union, where the three largest shipping companies are based, extended its antitrust exemption for container shipping companies until 2024. But the largest shipping companies are all based abroad, while U.S. exporters (who have a sympathetic ear from lawmakers) say theyre getting shafted by high container prices and ships that send empty containers back to Asia because it’s more profitable than waiting to fill them with U.S. exports.

WHATS NEXT: There are some differences between the House and Senate bills, notably on antitrust FMC enforcement, but lawmakers from both chambers and both parties have expressed a desire to get something done. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) said that any discrepancies wont deter ultimate passage. “We’re going to fight for our preferences, but were going to get something done, he said.


RENTAL CAR PRICE QUESTIONS: Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) chair of the House Oversight Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee, and Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) sent letters on Friday to car rental giants Hertz and Avis to request information about rental car prices, which have risen by 24 percent over the past year. The members say Hertz and Avis, which through subsidiaries control more than 90 percent of the U.S. rental car market, appear to have significantly increased prices despite falling costs, leading to record profits and sizeable payments to shareholders.

Aviss financials indicate that the company may have prioritized maximum profits and shareholder payouts at consumers expense, Krishnamoorthi and Porter wrote in their letter to Avis. We are deeply concerned that Avis may have engaged in predatory business practices during the pandemic, taking advantage of consumers who rely on affordable rental car prices.

PAPERS, PLEASE: The two Democrats requested documents and information from both companies to explain the increases in rental car prices despite falling costs, as well as a list of any known investigations into these price increases. They also asked Hertz and Avis to walk them through what steps, if any, they plan to take to make rental cars more affordable in the next year.

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CONVENIENCE IN TIGHTER QUARTERS: DOT on Friday announced its notice of proposed rulemaking to make it easier for passengers with disabilities to get to the bathroom on single-aisle aircraft. With narrow-bodied aircraft taking up a large share of domestic flights these days, the latest proposed rule would require airlines to make at least one lavatory on new single-aisle aircraft with 125 or more passenger seats large enough to permit a passenger with a disability to approach, enter, and maneuver within the aircraft lavatory, to use all facilities in that lavatory, and to leave using the aircrafts onboard wheelchair, DOT said, with air crew available to offer assistance as necessary. The process is part of the agencys overall goal to improve the air travel environment for people with disabilities.

RUSSIAN-OWNED PLANES BANNED: Doug Palmer reports that the Commerce Department has taken additional action to ensure 100 Russian-owned planes stay on the ground. The targeted aircraft include one owned by Roman Abramovich, a Russian businessperson recently lost control of Chelsea Football Club in Britain (host note: Come on you Spurs!), and dozens of others owned by Russian passenger and cargo carriers.

We are publishing this list to put the world on notice we will not allow Russian and Belarusian companies and oligarchs to travel with impunity in violation of our laws,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said.

U.S.-made, but inside Russia: The planes listed by the Commerce Department have all flown into Russia over the past 16 days, in violation of export control rules issued on Feb. 24, the day Russia launched its attack on Ukraine. Those regulations bar any aircraft manufactured in the United States from entering Russia without a U.S. export license. The same restrictions also apply to aircraft manufactured in other countries that include more than 25 percent U.S.-origin controlled content.

The Autobahn

American Airlines will resume alcohol sales on flights starting April 18. NBC News.

Russia’s biggest cargo airline to suspend all Boeing flights. Reuters.

Electric bikes are booming (again). Bloomberg.

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