Delay of electronic logging mandate gains more allies in Congress

By Jami Jones, Land Line managing editor | 7/21/2017

A bill introduced this week by Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, to delay the electronic logging mandate has picked up three co-sponsors. Babin is calling on truckers to hit the phones and encourage even more lawmakers to support this sensible bill.

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

As of Friday afternoon, Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla.; Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., and Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, had all signed on as co-sponsors and more are expected.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association issued a Call To Action this week encouraging its members to support the legislation.

“After months of meeting with lawmakers and explaining the harmful impacts ELDs will have on small-business truckers, OOIDA believes the passage of this bill is our best chance to defeat the mandate. We are now at a critical stage where adding Congressional co-sponsors to the legislation will help the delay get signed into law and we need your help. Please contact your Representative and tell them to co-sponsor H.R. 3282 today.”
OOIDA Call To Action

Babin spoke to Land Line Now Host Mark Reddig on Thursday, July 20. 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.”

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 Reddig. “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.”

You can hear Babin’s full interview here:

Babin’s bill was the first big move in Congress to delay the implementation of the mandate.

“We appreciate Congressman Babin’s leadership on this issue. While we still believe the ELD mandate should be outright repealed, FMCSA simply isn’t ready to implement this rule,” OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said. “Congressman Babin’s bill would provide more time for the agency to address a number of significant unresolved concerns identified by stakeholders.”

OOIDA’s Director of Government Affairs Mike Matousek credits Association members for engaging their members of Congress on the ELD issue and hopes they will continue to do so.

“OOIDA members have already laid the groundwork for a delay or repeal,” Matousek said. “By actively calling and writing their lawmakers on the impending ELD mandate, many members of the House should be versed on the problems that lie ahead for this mandate and hopefully be willing to step in and support a delay.

“Now, we need our members to call and specifically encourage support of Congressman Babin’s bill.”

The bill has been referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, of which Babin is a member.

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 Monday, 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 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,” the report states.

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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