Transport Topics interviewed Venable partner Jim Burnley on March 14, 2017, on transportation priorities facing the Trump administration. The interview focused on a variety of topics including infrastructure spending, the Highway Trust Fund, and staffing of the Department of Transportation (DOT) among others.
Discussing the slow pace of confirming senior level DOT officials and the small staff currently supporting Secretary Elaine Chao, Burnley said, "She is understandably frustrated. Those of us who deal with the department share the frustration and concerns. And it's true, by the way, with every Cabinet department." He pinned some of the delay on the Senate slow confirmation process which has been an issue since the 1980s. "The hurdles you have to go over, the paperwork you have to fill out, the number of questions the committee sends you in writing, before and after you have a hearing, it's just been growing like weeds," he said. "I think it does not serve the country well to have such an inefficient process."