The Committee will hold a nomination hearing on David James Gribbin IV to be General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Daniel K. InouyeSenatorToday, the Committee will consider the nomination of Mr. David J. Gribbin, to the position of General Counsel of the Department of Transportation. If appointed, Mr. Gribbin would serve as the principal legal officer and advisor to Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters.The General Counsel of the Department will play a key role in guiding the agency through the many challenges ahead. Our nation’s transportation system is slowly collapsing under the tremendous stress of increased congestion caused by growing passenger and freight demand and years of under-investment. All modes of transportation are plagued by stubborn safety problems. On our highways alone, we lose 43,000 lives a year.Tackling these problems will force us to face complex fiscal, environmental, safety, and security issues, requiring leadership that, so far, has been lacking from this Administration. America's economic vitality, global competitiveness, and most importantly, our quality of life, depend on our creating a safe and efficient transportation system.Today we will hear about Mr. Gribbin’s qualifications to serve in this important position, and his general outlook with regard to transportation policy, as well as his views on privatization of public transportation infrastructure.###
Witness Panel 1
David James GribbinDesignate General CounselU.S. Department of TransportationStatement of David James Gribbin IVNominee for the Position of General Counselof the U.S. Department of TransportationMarch 29, 2007Thank you, Chairman Inouye, Co-Chairman Stevens, and Members of the Committee. It is an honor for me to appear before you today as President Bush's nominee to serve as General Counsel of the Department of Transportation. I would like to introduce my wife Molly, who is here with me today, and my children – Quint, Emily, Abigail, Matthew, Benjamin, Daniel, and Nathaniel – who are all in attendance. I want to express my gratitude to my family for their encouragement and support.For the past decade, I have worked in the transportation area, primarily focused on policy issues surrounding highway infrastructure. As Chief Counsel for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), I became very familiar with the Federal highway program, worked on a wide variety of legal issues affecting the agency, and gained a solid understanding of how the United States Department of Transportation works. In addition, I had the opportunity to work with a number of stakeholder groups including the environmental community, contractors, and unions. If confirmed, I will enjoy having the opportunity to re-establish ties with these leaders in transportation.Making travel safer across all modes of transportation remains the Department's top priority. As a father, I am very cognizant of the importance of road and vehicle safety. My son has been driving for two years, and I take my daughter for her learner's permit this weekend. Virginia has a program requiring parents to spend 20 hours in the car with their child before granting a driver's license. While the rigors of this program have probably taken a few years off my life, it is one of many programs that have been created since I was licensed that increase safety on our roads. We have made great strides in saving lives and preventing injuries, but we can never become complacent about protecting all Americans when they travel.Secretary Peters has frequently said that transportation is critical to the freedom we enjoy as Americans and to our nation's economic vitality. While our current transportation systems have served us well, there are great challenges that lie ahead. If confirmed as General Counsel of the Department of Transportation, I will assist the Secretary in addressing these challenges as her chief legal advisor. I had the privilege of working closely with the Secretary while she was the FHWA Administrator and I was the FHWA Chief Counsel. If confirmed, I look forward to serving under her again and working with her and with each of you to address these challenges.To that end, if I am confirmed as General Counsel, I will ensure that the Department benefits from timely and accurate legal advice as it carries out its mission to improve the transportation system for all Americans. I also look forward to working cooperatively with the committee and its staff on transportation issues.I am eager to use my legal training, my experience, and my leadership and management skills to address the transportation challenges we now face. I also look forward to working with you, Secretary Peters, and my former colleagues to improve transportation services in this country.Thank you for considering my nomination. I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.