By Rod Nofziger
OOIDA director of government affairs
In the nation’s capital, it’s a sure thing that in the midterm elections, your votes will put some new faces in the halls of Congress.
As with every Congressional election, all of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be contested in November. And while the reality is that despite voter discontent, most current lawmakers in the House will keep their jobs. Historically well over 90 percent of incumbents get re-elected, while some will lose and be replaced by newcomers.
There will also be new representatives in the House for the 45 “open seats” that are up for grabs where incumbent lawmakers have resigned, retired, passed away or were defeated in their own party’s primary election. In the other chamber of Congress, 37 of the 100 Senate seats are up for contention this year with 14 of those being open seats.
So we will certainly have at least 59 new lawmakers in Washington – perhaps plenty more, perhaps not.
With the next big highway bill and most other legislative initiatives of interest to the trucking world being stalled on Capitol Hill amid campaign positioning and political mudslinging, I have spent a good bit of thought on what may happen after Nov. 2.
Will the elections result in new opportunities for trucker-friendly legislation to move forward? Will changes in the Congressional makeup create more threats to small-business truckers and professional drivers?
For years you have heard OOIDA sounding like a broken record saying over and over that it is crucial for truckers to call and write their lawmakers in Washington. That is true now and will continue to be.
Lawmakers and candidates in the many hotly contested Congressional races are looking to grab hold of every vote they can, so now is a great time to contact their campaign offices. Find out how to reach them or even meet with them in person to ask them directly where they stand on matters of critical importance to you. You might even get them to commit to a position on those matters if they win in November. LL