McCain, R-Ariz., led the committee in bipartisan expressions of approval for Jackson’s appointment. Among those speaking in support was Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., who said Jackson is “an excellent choice.”
Jackson is known in trucking circles for his work with the Lockheed Martin IMS Pre-Pass program. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin IMS in 1997, he was senior vice president and counselor to the president at American Trucking Associations.
In response to a question from McCain, Jackson explained that he will be recused for a year from any DOT business having to do with Lockheed Martin IMS. He agreed to consult with McCain and the committee should any questions arise about business between DOT and the parent company, Lockheed Martin Corp.
When he is confirmed, Jackson will be Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta’s chief assistant. His message to the Commerce Committee echoed that of Mineta at his confirmation hearing: safety is DOT’s top priority. The other top policy concern at the department is congestion, particularly in the airline business and on the highways.
Jackson told the committee that he, like Mineta, is a proponent of using technology to keep traffic moving.