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5/18/2005
SPECIAL REPORT: Senate OKs highway bill; fuel surcharge fight still on

The Senate passed its version of the highway bill Tuesday, May 17, and while it is different from the House version and does not contain legislation for a mandatory fuel surcharge, there is still a chance to get the surcharge passed.

Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, said the bill is scheduled to move on to a conference committee, where representatives from both the House and the Senate will hammer out a final version.

"Because the highway bills are different, the conference committee will need to meet to reconcile the two bills and present one final bill to the president for signature," Spencer said. "Now, we have to convince the conference committee that the fuel surcharge that appears on the House version (HR3, Section 4139) needs to stay in the final bill."

Spencer said OOIDA is encouraging its members to contact their representatives in both the House and the Senate and urge them to include the fuel surcharge legislation in the final version of the highway bill.

If truckers are uncertain who their representatives are, they may contact OOIDA's Membership Department, and staff will look up the information. The toll-free OOIDA number is 1-800-444-5791.

Truckers can also call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121, give the operator their ZIP code and be directly connected to their representatives' offices.

According to OOIDA, here is a list of potential members of the conference committee. The names marked with an asterisk are the individuals that OOIDA thinks are highly probable to be tapped for the conference committee:

Senate:

James Inhofe, R-OK *
John Warner, R-VA *
Kit Bond, R-MO *
James Jeffords, I-VT *
Max Baucus, D-MT *
Joe Lieberman, D-CT
Chuck Grassley, R-IA *
Orrin Hatch, R-UT *
Trent Lott, R-MS *
John Rockefeller, D-WV
Kent Conrad, D-ND
Ted Stevens, R-AK *
Conrad Burns, R-MT
Daniel Inouye, D-HI *
John Kerry, D-MA
Richard Shelby, R-AL *
Robert Bennett, R-UT *
Wayne Allard, R-CO
Michael Enzi, R-WY
Paul Sarbanes, D-MD *
Christopher Dodd, D-CT
Tim Johnson, D-SD

House:

Don Young, R-AK *
Thomas Petri, R-WI *
Sherwood Boehlert, R-NY *
Howard Coble, R-NC *
John Duncan, R-TN *
John Mica, R-FL *
Peter Hoekstra, R-MI *
Vernon Ehlers, R-MI *
Spencer Bachus, R-AL *
Steven LaTourette, R-OH *
James Oberstar, D-MN *
Nick Rahall, D-WV *
Jerrold Nadler, D-NY *
Peter DeFazio, D-OR *
Jerry Costello, D-IL *
Eleanor Norton, D-DC *
Robert Menendez, D-NJ *
Corrine Brown, D-FL *
Bob Filner, D-CA *
Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-TX *
Sam Graves, R-MO
Michael Sodrel, R-IN
David Reichert, R-WA
Tom DeLay, R-TX *

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