FAA sex assault tracking requirement offered as amendment

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) is attaching her proposal to require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to keep track of sexual assaults that are committed on airplanes to a bill about airfare advertising that is scheduled to be marked up on Wednesday.

Norton said her measure, which has been dubbed the Protecting Airline Passengers from Sexual Assaults Act, would help close a loophole in sexual assault reporting that occurs because in-flight sexual assaults are often not investigated properly due to murky jurisdiction rules.

Norton said the airline advertising bill that is scheduled to be marked up on Wednesday by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee “provides an opportunity to move this vital legislation to require the FAA to keep real-time statistics and documentation on sexual assaults on airplanes.


GM hot seat shifts to Senate

A day after being grilled by lawmakers in the House for more than two hours, General Motors CEO Mary Barra will have to face the Senate on Wednesday.

The GM chief is scheduled to testify before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, as Congress continues its investigation of the Detroit-based auto company’s handling of widespread recalls of millions of its vehicles, after a dangerous ignition failure was detected.

The Senate committee will be led by Democrats, but Barra is likely to face the same pressure as she did in Tuesday’s House hearing, where lawmakers in both parties accused GM of taking too long to recall the defective cars.


GM hires Ken Feinberg to oversee recall response

General Motors has hired Washington attorney Ken Feinberg to lead its response to widespread recalls of mid-to-late 2000’s automobiles that has prompted a round of congressional investigations, GM CEO Mary Barra announced during a hearing Tuesday.

Feinberg is a specialist in corporate crisis compensation payments, overseeing payments to families of victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the 2007 Virginia Tech University mass shooting and the 2010 BP oil spill.

GM’s chief Barra said Tuesday as she made the announcement about GM’s plans to respond to its 1.6 millions vehicles that were recalled because of problems with its ignition switches that she was “deeply sorry” for the 13 deaths that have been linked to the faulty part.


GM crash victims to attend recall hearing

Victims of car crashes that were related to a recalled part on several late model General Motors’ vehicles will attend a hearing about the defective autos Tuesday, a spokeswoman representing the families during their trip to Washington said.

GM CEO Mary Barra is expected to testify Tuesday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about a recall on ignition switches on several mid-2000 automobiles that officials say has affected 1.6 million vehicles and resulted in 13 deaths.

The hearing is expected to be contentious because lawmakers on the Republican-led committee have been criticizing GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for waiting more than a decade in some case to issue the recall.