SPECIAL REPORT: Truckers claim victory in pilot program shutdown

| 5/25/2007

Friday, May 25, 2007 – Anybody who ever thought Congress wouldn’t listen to a bunch of truckers better think again.

The fact lawmakers passed a bill that essentially sends the Department of Transportation back to the drawing board on its cross-border program is proof.

Truckers rallied together behind the efforts of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, urging Congress to put a stop to the Bush administration’s mad rush to open the border. Congressional members were flooded with calls, e-mails and letters from truckers.

“Beyond the very important issue of shutting down this Mexican pilot program, the accomplishment here for truckers was the awakening of a sleeping giant,” OOIDA President Jim Johnston said.

“Truckers, by working through the system and contacting elected officials, were able to put a stop to a program that was going to be very detrimental to their futures.”

The battle over the cross-border program wasn’t without huge foes. The united voice of small-business truckers ultimately claimed victory over the push for the cross-border program by big business with its deep pockets.

“I really hope this let’s those who did participate, as well as those who didn’t, realize the power they have by working together through the system,” Johnston said.

This win has Johnston looking to the future with enormous optimism.

“There’s much, much more to be worked on and accomplished in the future,” Johnston said. “And, this is proof that truckers can make it happen when they work together.”

– By Jami Jones, senior editor