Even though none of them may be from your home state, members of the House and Senate Conference Committee on the Highway Bill do represent you and therefore deserve to hear your thoughts about mandatory fuel surcharge legislation.
Conference Committees are named when the House and Senate approve different versions of the same legislation. A total of more than 90 representatives and senators are selected to develop compromise legislation to send to the president to sign into law.
The House version of the Highway Bill included a mandatory fuel surcharge - with a 100 percent pass-through provision to make sure the people who pay for the fuel receive the surcharge. The Senate version did not include any fuel surcharge.
So now is the time for all truckers, regardless of their home states, to call members of the Conference Committee to encourage them to include the fuel surcharge in the final Highway Bill. The current extension for highway funding is scheduled expire at the end of this month, so the committee is under a tight deadline.
Rod Nofziger, government relations representative for OOIDA, said that this will most likely be the final home stretch for the bill, and it is still not too late for fuel surcharge legislation to make it into the final version.
This is the latest of several extensions since the 1998 Highway Bill expired in September 2003. Each extension has continued the funding levels from the 1998 legislation.
- By Terry Scruton, senior writer