Different song, same refrain: the Imperial Court of King George has again violated the will of Congress and the people.
The House of Representatives voted to ban Mexican trucks from U.S. highways 411 to 3 vote.
The Senate voted 75 to 23.
The American public - Republican, Democrat or Independent - wants no part of the program.
In fact, Mexican truckers and the Mexican public don't want anything to do with it.
Despite all this opposition, Bush is defying the will of Congress and refusing to cut off funding for the Mexican truck pilot program.
This is just one more payoff to the Bush administration's corporate cronies as they prepare to cross the moat one last time.
Not to mention that you can now just add highway safety to the growing list of laws the Bush administration has brazenly broken in their quest to exact more and more profits at the expense of the American middle class.
Many Americans are alarmed by the suspension of habeas corpus, torture, domestic spying, and the list goes on and on and on. For most, that record of lawlessness is somewhat abstract - more abstract than the reality of 80,000 pound unguided missiles from Mexico careering down our highways.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) says that Mexico and the U.S. have met all of the legal requirements to establish the program, but the DOT's own inspector general specifically lays out a number of areas that the DOT has NOT met the legal requirements. Specifically, the program breaks laws requiring the DOT to:
1. Create a program that yields statistically valid findings;
2. Show that U.S. trucks have the same right to travel in Mexico that Mexican-domiciled trucks have to travel here; and
3. Reveal the inspection results for motor carriers allowed to drived beyond the border.
The DOT inspector general's report released on August 21, 2007 makes it clear that those requirements have not been met. Among the conditions identified by the inspector general:
1. Border states keep poor records of Mexican-domiciled truck drivers' traffic convictions;
2. Checks of the validity of Mexican-domiciled commercial drivers' licenses against Mexico's database resulted in a failure rate of nearly 20 percent;
3. The government won't be able to inspect every truck every time it crosses the border;
4. Drug testing continues to be questionable in Mexico.
According to research by OOIDA, a review of FMCSA's own database, SafeStat, the department's record-keeping also brings into question the numbers they keep flouting to prove that "Mexican trucks are as safe as U.S. trucks." OOIDA's report shows:
"In the span of one year, Sept. 21, 2006, through Sept. 21, 2007, the four Mexican motor carriers amassed more than 1,700 violations. One of the companies averaged more than 112 violations per truck for the 10 power units in its fleet during that year.
"I observe that these motor carriers also received many violations for which an out-of-service order should have been issued, but was not," Craig testified.
Examples included violations related to lighting, suspension, tires and all other driver violations, such as a non-English speaking driver.
Craig also noted there were numerous other violations that could have been the basis for an out-of-service order, but the inspection report does not provide enough information to make that determination.
And don't get me wrong, this isn't about the Mexican truck driver . That's why they're against it too. They are just a pawn in the fight to move more goods for less money.
No one in the U.S. or Mexican governments is talking about improving the driver's standard of living.
No one is talking about providing them with better, safer equipment.
No one is talking about ensuring they follow U.S. wage and hour laws for their economic security and personal safety.
No one is talking about establishing a real system in Mexico that keeps unsafe drivers off the road, so that you have safe drivers there too.
Instead, DOT Secretary Mary Peters and Bush are willing to violate the law.
The 9th Circuit is currently scheduled to hear arguments in a lawsuit filed by the Teamsters and our coalition partners in February. That suit shows how the pilot program is illegal in the first place.
Now the Bush administration is forcing us back into court as they intend to violate the law again by not stopping the already illegal program.
And let's not forget, Bush just signed the Omnibus bill yesterday (which includes the cross-border ban) on a flight to Crawford for vacation.
Only a King would sign a law that he has no intention of following - and expect to get away with it.