OOIDA throws support behind House highway bill

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 2/7/2012

OOIDA leadership is commending House lawmakers for advancing a long-term surface transportation bill out of committee. With a floor vote upcoming, OOIDA supports the bill known as HR7 for what it contains and what it does not contain.

In a letter to Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica of Florida, OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said a reauthorization and reforms for transportation programs are long overdue.

“OOIDA wants to especially commend you for including a much needed truck parking provision, a study to research heavy-duty truck cab crashworthiness, and an important first step toward curbing abuses in freight brokering,” Spencer wrote.

“Additionally, we applaud your resistance to the well-organized efforts to push for new and costly government mandates, while including an examination of the impact regulations have on the small-business carriers that make up OOIDA’s membership.”

Spencer’s letter also commended the committee and House leadership for scrapping a provision that would have increased truck sizes and weights on federal highways.

“We were very pleased to see the removal of these provisions through the passage of the Barletta/Costello and DeFazio amendments during full committee markup,” Spencer wrote in the letter, which was copied to House leadership including Speaker John Boehner.

“While we oppose any effort to return these provisions to the bill through a floor amendment, OOIDA is writing to express our support for both HR7, as reported by your committee, and the financing provision contained in HR3864 as reported by the Ways and Means Committee.”

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed HR7 in the early morning hours of Friday, Feb. 3. A few hours later, the Ways and Means Committee added a provision that would guarantee 100 percent of revenue from fuel taxes stay with highways. Current law calls for 20 percent of the Highway Trust Fund to be spent on mass transit and another 10 percent on transportation enhancements such as beautification projects and museums.

HR7 could hit the House floor for debate as soon as the week of Feb. 13. The Senate is also drafting its version of long-term surface transportation legislation. Before either bill can be sent to the president’s desk and become law, the two chambers must agree on final language.

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