Truckers in D.C. Pledge to “Stand Our Ground” After Meeting With President’s Chief of Staff
Washington D.C. – Many truckers rallying in Washington D.C. do not plan on leaving any time soon even after President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff held an impromptu meeting with a group of them on Wednesday.
The dust continues to settle on what was an unprecedented day on Wednesday as the small business truckers rallying in our nation’s capital continue to push forward in their efforts.
A raucous demonstration yesterday afternoon along Constitution Avenue resulted in a group of truckers blocking all lanes of traffic for approximately 30 minutes.
A short time later, Mark Meadows, Chief of Staff to President Trump, made his way out to the street to engage the group in conversation.
“My message to you is not only has the President heard your request, but he wants us to get something done about it,” Meadows told the determined group of truckers. “I wouldn’t be here right now if you didn’t have the President’s attention and support.”
During the course of the dialogue, the majority of the group rallied behind Mike Landis, founder of the United States Transportation Alliance (USTA), and seemed to back him as their spokesperson.
Landis is an independent contractor from Pennsylvania who founded the grassroots organization hoping to help enact positive changes for drivers by regularly meeting with officials in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Congress.
He, along with other USTA leaders, has sacrificed countless hours and much of his own monetary resources for the cause.
Landis tell Transportation Nation Network (TNN) it was an “awesome feeling” for the group to urge the President’s Chief of Staff to listen to him.
“I don’t really see myself that way,” Landis said. “I never got involved in this to be ‘that guy.'”
However, that’s exactly where he now finds himself.
Meadows gave Landis his personal email address and promised the two of them would continue their dialogue moving forward.
“I’d like to stay optimistic that it could be the start of something good that we really need,” he stated.
While Landis and others are hopeful having a direct line of communication to the President’s right hand man will lead to greater representation for small business truckers to those in power, it wasn’t long before some expressed their doubts.
Was Meadows simply placating the rowdy truckers hoping to get them to settle down and avert a public relations disaster for the White House?
After all, it was only a few days earlier President Trump was on Fox News proclaiming “truckers are great people” and indicating the rally participants are supporters of his administration.
“They like Trump,” he commented. “They’ve got Trump all over their trucks.”
Landis says he has heard the skeptics, but finds hope in the fact Meadows has already made good on one of his promises.
Before heading back to the White House, Meadows discussed the group’s concerns about low rates being offered by freight brokers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are looking at transparency and making sure there is nothing there from a gouging standpoint. At the same time it’s a complex issue that honestly has surfaced in a real way right now because of everything that’s going on,” Meadows stated.
Then, Meadows vowed, “I will call the Attorney General of the United States, Bill Barr, as soon as I get back to the office and ask him to look at it.”
According to Landis, Meadows has since confirmed by email that he did speak with Attorney General Barr about the issue.
He expects to continue that discussion with Meadows in the coming days.
In the meantime, Landis says the majority of truckers rallying in D.C. are planning to stay for the foreseeable future.
“The plan is to stand our ground as we were. Until we have something we can believe in, we don’t want to go.”
Landis says the overarching goal of the ongoing demonstrations has now become making sure drivers with real over-the-road experience get a seat at the table and more influence in the federal rulemaking process.
“I think the biggest goal we should have right now is we need to have drivers involved in anything that has to do with transportation,” he declared.
Only time will tell and you can be certain TransportationNation.com will continue to bring you the latest developments.
Photos courtesy Greg Anderson/Twitter