A team of negotiators from the House and Senate is in place and will begin hammering out a final version of a multiyear surface transportation bill next month. On Thursday, OOIDA issued a call to action urging lawmakers to remove a government mandate for electronic on-board recorders from the legislation.
On Thursday, April 26, leaders from the House announced their team of 33 negotiators who will join the Senate’s 14-person team at the table. The panel announced that its first meeting will happen May 8 in DC where they’ll begin working on highway funding, trucking safety and other programs that use federal transportation funds.
Senators are bringing their two-year, $109 billion bill to the table, complete with a motor carrier safety program that includes EOBRs in addition to other items affecting trucking such as parking, detention time, cab crashworthiness, toll roads, public-private partnerships, chameleon carriers, driver training standards and a study of how regulations affect small businesses.
OOIDA continues to hammer on the proposed EOBR mandate, saying the tracking devices are no more effective than paper logs when it comes to safety and hours-of-service compliance. By the White House’s own report, a mandate for EOBRs would cost the trucking industry $2 billion, twice as much as the recent changes to the hours-of-service rules.
“To require such a mandate before the rule is even settled is putting the cart way before the horse to say the least, particularly absent any research to indicate that EOBRs will improve upon compliance as a whole,” OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer stated in a letter to lawmakers. Click here for related story.
House negotiators from the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee are Chairman John Mica, R-FL, Don Young, R-AL, John J. Duncan Jr., R-TN, Bill Shuster, R-PA, Shelley Capito, R-WV, Rick Crawford, R-AR, Jaime Herrera Buetler, R-WA, Larry Bucshon, R-IN, Richard Hanna, R-NY, Steve Southerland, R-FL, James Lankford, R-OK, Reid Ribble, R-WI, Nick Rahall, D-WV, Peter DeFazio, D-OR, Jerry Costello, D-IL, Eleanor Norton, D-DC, Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, Corrine Brown, D-FL, Elijah Cummings, D-MD, Leonard Boswell, D-IA, and Tim Bishop, D-NY.
They’ll be joined by three members from each of the following four House committees who will have a limited scope in the proceedings: Energy and Commerce; Natural Resources; Science, Space and Technology; and Ways and Means.
As reported, the Senate team consists of Democrats Barbara Boxer of California, Max Baucus of Montana, Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Charles Schumer of New York, Bill Nelson of Florida, and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, and Republicans James Inhofe of Oklahoma, David Vitter of Louisiana, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Richard Shelby of Alabama, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, and John Hoeven of North Dakota.