Identical letter to:
The Honorable J. Dennis Hastert,
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
February 29, 2000
The Honorable Al Gore
President of the Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Mr. President:
I am pleased to transmit to you for introduction and referral to the appropriate committee a bill
To authorize appropriations out of the Highway Trust Fund for the motor vehicle safety programs of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for fiscal year 2001.
The proposed bill would: (1) increase the authorization level for fiscal year 2001 for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations (NHTSA) motor vehicle safety programs under Chapter 301 of title 49, United States Code, by $17,640,000, to a total of $115,954,000; and (2) fund the total authorization amount for fiscal year 2001 for these programs out of the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund.
The proposed increase in the authorization level conforms the fiscal year 2001 authorization level for these programs to the fiscal year 2001 budget level requested by the Administration. By shifting the total funding support for the motor vehicle safety programs to the Highway Trust Fund, the bill reflects the Departments policy that programs with identifiable users be funded as much as possible through user fees.
Among the programs that would receive increased authorizations are those that evaluate advanced air bag technology and evaluate the critical factors that lead to incompatible vehicle designs. The higher funding level would also permit the agency to support compliance testing for new and enhanced occupant protection standards. These include the advanced air bag compliance test program, which requires extensive side and frontal crash testing and extensive testing of child restraints. In other areas related to air bag research, the higher funding level would speed the development of improved crash dummies, particularly those representing children and small women, and would enable the agencys Special Crash Investigations unit to continue its in-depth investigations of possible air bag aggressivity.
The increased funds also would allow the agency to continue a national crash data collection program to identify specific traffic safety problems to aid in regulatory actions and for program evaluation activities. Finally, the higher funding level would support crash avoidance research under the Intelligent Vehicle Initiative Program, the safety needs of the Administrations Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles Initiative, the Vehicle Research Test Center, and a new international research effort. Enactment of this legislation will assist in making NHTSAs motor vehicle safety programs more effective.
The Office of Management and Budget advises that it has no objection, from the standpoint of the Administrations program, to the submission of this proposed legislation to Congress, and that its enactment would be in accord with the program of the President.
Rodney E. Slater