SPECIAL REPORT: Obama administration to inherit EOBR controversy

| 1/20/2009

Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009 – As DC gets a makeover, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has been watching what some call “midnight regulations,” ones that Bush administration could make happen in the weeks leading up to today, the first day of the new Obama administration.

Federal agencies send their proposed regulations to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget for final review. Among the significant regulatory actions related to trucking that did not get the green light during the final week was a mandate for electronic on-board recorders in commercial trucks. It’s a mandate that is unpopular with professional truck drivers and one that has long been opposed by OOIDA.

The EOBR rule was sent to the OMB in November 2008, and it is now apparent that it has failed to make it to the table during the last working days of the Bush administration.

Rick Craig, OOIDA’s director of regulatory affairs, said FMCSA’s proposed EOBR rule will now be decided by the Obama administration. It could be approved by the OMB in its current state, or could be changed.

“Anything is possible; it could even get hung up at OMB,” Craig told Land Line. “Anything going to the OMB, that’s going to the White House, basically. The administration that is in power at the time makes the rule.”

President Obama has selected Peter Orszag as his nominee for OMB director. Orszag testified last week before the Senate Budget Committee, where he is expected to sail through the confirmation process.

OOIDA will be watching the OMB and how the EOBR review will fare under the new administration.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer