Washington is truly a strange place. Some of the highest profile issues receive nonstop reporting yet the immigration bill which the Senate passed is so radically different from that which the House of Representatives passed that a salutary outcome is unlikely.
As the Senate was considering the immigration bill, which may go nowhere, the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission was holding its initial meeting, in the shadow of the Capitol at the main Department of Transportation Building. This Commission is comprised of Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta as Chairman and eleven other members appointed by the Republican and Democratic Senate and House Leadership.
Already this Commission has become one of the more serious efforts of a governmental group. I say this in part because I am privileged to serve upon it, at the behest of Senate Majority Leader William H. Frist, M.D. (R-TN), more commonly known as Senator Bill Frist. I have served on two other commissions during my years here and also am familiar with other commissions which have operated, operate or are waiting to be constituted. Nothing compares with the seriousness of purpose and dedication of this Commission.
Creation of the Commission was a portion of the much maligned "Bridge to Nowhere" transportation bill which Congress enacted last summer and which President George W. Bush quickly signed into law.