Babin's ELD delay bill still picking up co-sponsors, private sector support

By Jami Jones, Land Line managing editor | 9/15/2017

A bill that would delay the electronic logging device deadline until December 2019 is still gaining support in the House of Representatives and from industry stakeholders.

Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, introduced the bill in the House of Representatives on July 18 seeking a delay of the electronic logging mandate for two years. The bill, HR3282, is called the ELD Extension Act of 2017.

As of Sept. 12, 49 co-sponsors had signed on in support of the bill. It now has bipartisan support with the addition of Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn. Click here to view them.

Industry stakeholders have not relented and continuing to sign on in support of the legislation. According to Babin’s staff, in addition to the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, there are 16 more groups, associations and businesses backing the bill.

Among the supporters:

  • Agricultural Retailers Association
  • American Farm Bureau Federation
  • American Pyrotechnics Association
  • American Road & Transportation Builders Association
  • Associated Equipment Distributors
  • Livestock Exporters Association of the USA
  • Lucas Oil Products
  • Mid-West Truckers Association
  • National Association of Chemical Distributors
  • National Association of Small Trucking Companies
  • National Aquaculture Association
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
  • National Corn Growers Association
  • National Cotton Council
  • National Electric Contractors Association
  • National Federation of Independent Business
  • National Grain and Feed Association
  • National Ground Water Association
  • National Hay Association
  • National Motorists Association
  • National Precast Concrete Association
  • National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
  • New England Fuel Institute
  • North American Wood Pole Council
  • Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
  • Petroleum Marketers Association of America
  • Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute
  • SikhsPAC
  • Southern Pressure Treaters’ Association
  • Towing and Recovery Association of America

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association issued a Call to Action on Thursday after encouraging its members to continue to support the legislation.

“H.R. 3282, The Electronic Logging Device Extension Act of 2017,has added four additional cosponsors over the past week bringing the total up to 49 Congressional cosponsors. The legislation seeks to amend the current ELD implementation date by two years until December 2019, allowing more time to further evaluate the readiness of the mandate. The bill has been endorsed by more than 25 organizations representing diverse segments of the economy. We are working with these coalition partners to gather additional support for H.R. 3282 and apply pressure on House leaders to advance the bill. We are also continuing our efforts in the Senate to utilize every legislative option at their disposal. And we will continue to appeal to the White House for assistance in delaying and ultimately repealing the harmful mandate.”
– OOIDA Call To Action

Babin spoke to Land Line Now Host Mark Reddig in July. In the interview he explained his strong connection to trucking.

“I used to be a truck driver at one time. I have done a lot of things in my life. I wound up a dentist, but at one time I started out driving a truck in the military and also drove a lumber truck down in Texas,” Babin told Reddig.

“I have a big place in my heart for truck drivers.”

You can hear the full interview here:

Truckers who have communicated with Babin since the rule was enacted and as the compliance deadline approaches played a role in his decision to introduce the bill. He also encouraged truckers to call their own lawmakers and rally support for HR3282.

“What (truckers) need to do is they need to call and tell their congressmen that they are tax-paying citizens. They’re raising their families. They’re making their communities better places to live, and they have an honest good job,” Babin told Land Line Now. “They’re moving our goods and our services across this country, and they want good highways, and they want less government interference. They want the government to please get out of the way and let them do what they’re trained to do.

“Each one out there, call and ask their congressmen to co-sponsor this bill HR3282 and call the switchboard at the Capitol, which is 202-224-3121. Or they can go look them up on and they can send their message that way.”

OOIDA Director of Government Affairs Mike Matousek credits members of the Association who have called their lawmakers for the growing support.

“Our members worked extremely hard to make this bill a reality,” Matousek told Land Line. “Their hard work is paying off as the bill already has a number of co-sponsors. If your lawmaker is a co-sponsor, give them a quick call to thank them.  If not, keep calling and ask them to sign on.”

The introduction of Babin’s bill follows the first congressional call for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to consider a delay on the logging mandate as well.

On July 17, the House Committee on Appropriations voted on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Funding bill for fiscal year 2018. The committee held a markup hearing and voted 31-20 to report the bill to the full House for consideration.

The Committee issued a report to accompany the bill, which details the members’ thinking and recommendations to the full House when considering the bill. While report language does not necessarily carry the weight of law, it outlines the “intent of Congress” and directs actions by agencies. Read a related article here.

The report accompanying the THUD bill details concerns over the impending logging mandate.

“In light of the heavy burden of this mandate, especially on small carriers, the Committee directs the Department (of Transportation) to analyze whether a full or targeted delay in ELD implementation and enforcement would be appropriate and, if so, what options DOT has within its statutory authority to provide temporary regulatory relief until all ELD implementation challenges can be resolved,” according to the report.

To underscore the committee’s concern, it ordered FMCSA to report back to both the House and Senate committees within 60 days of the passage of the THUD legislation.

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