Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) said yesterday he is going to be working with the administration in an effort to develop a joint trucking deregulation measure.
In a luncheon address to a symposium on trucking sponsored by the Transportation Consumer Action Project, Kennedy said he intends to work with the administration and wants to work with Commerce Committee Chairman Howard W. Cannon (D-Nev.), but would offer his own bill if no joint proposals can be worked out.
"It is my belief that regulation of the trucking industry will be reduced substantially in coming years," Kennedy said. "The question is not whether there will be a reduction, but how much?"
Mary Schuman, assistant director of the White House Domestic Policy Staff, confirmed that the administration will be working with Kennedy, Cannon and other Key members of Congress to develop a joint deregulation measure. Without predicting "exactly when," she said. "We hope to work out jointly with the Congress a measure that provides substantial reforms for the trucking industry and has a shot at getting through."
Although various members of the administration have been promising a legislative package on trucking for almost two years - leading some critics to express doubts that there ever will be one - Schuman noted that President Carter had said "many times" that he believes the trucking industry is overruglated and there had been "no indication that he's changed his mind."
Although the administration has not produced its promised bill, it has gone along with announced intentions to put some deregulation proponents on the Interstate Commerce Commission. Darius W. Gaskins Jr., an economist with the Energy Department serving as deputy assistant secretary for policy analysis, was nominated by President Carter to succeed Virginia MaeBrown, a 15-year veteran of the ICC whose term expired a year ago but who continued to serve until the White House decided what to do. Gaskins held the top economics posts at both the Civil Aeronautics Board (under deregulation-minded Aflred E. Kahn) and the Federal Trade Commission before going to DOE.
The other nominee, Thomas, A. Trantum, is a security analyst with Rothschild, Unterberg, Towbin in New York, specializing in regulated transportation. Trantum was virtually the first in the securities industry to support vigorously and publicly deregulation of airlines.