President Clinton signed a technical correction to the transportation appropriations bill, restoring full funding to the truck and bus safety program at the Department of Transportation.
The program's enforcement efforts had been curtailed for a week due to a partial cut-off of money. The cut-off arose from a legislative maneuver by Rep. Frank Wolf, R-VA, to force reorganization of the safety program.
During the period of the cut-off, safety officials were not able to issue fines for violations of the safety rules, or work with law enforcement in cases against violators. All other aspects of the program were intact.
Wolf's maneuver worked: The safety program run by the Office of Motor Carrier and Highway Safety is no longer connected to the Federal Highway Administration. It is now directly under the Secretary of Transportation, pending completion of legislation in Congress that would move it into a new National Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
A bill to create the new administration has cleared the House. A similar bill is pending in the Senate. At this point there is little or no opposition to the measure, although the Senate may not be able to complete work on its bill before Congress recesses early in November.