Pennsylvania House panel votes for Bush to end cross-border program

| 5/16/2008

The Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee unanimously approved a measure that calls for President Bush to comply with federal law regarding trucks from Mexico.

Sponsored by state Rep. Dan Surra, D-Elk, the resolution urges the Bush administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation to obey recently enacted federal law.

“Allowing Mexican truckers and long-haul rigs on highways throughout the United States – absent the rigorous inspections and safety and training standards for U.S. trucks and truck drivers – is dangerous to the public,” Surra said in a written statement.

The pilot project was started in September 2007. It authorizes tractor-trailers from 11 Mexico-based trucking operations to cross the border and travel throughout the U.S.

Congress approved legislation late last year to stop funding for the program, citing concerns that Mexican trucks don’t meet U.S. safety standards. The Bush administration and U.S. DOT, however, are continuing to allow the Mexico-based trucks to cross the border.

Surra is looking to put more pressure on the president and DOT to end the program.

“Keeping these Mexican trucks on U.S. highways is a direct violation of federal law, a law that the president himself signed,” Surra said. “It also puts many safe U.S. trucking companies and truck drivers at a competitive disadvantage in their own country.”

The resolution – HR612 – has moved to the House floor for further consideration.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Pennsylvania in 2008, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor