Babin's ELD delay bill gaining congressional, private sector support

By Jami Jones, Land Line managing editor | Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A bill that would delay the electronic logging device deadline until December 2019 is 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 Wednesday, 13 co-sponsors had signed on in support of the bill. They are:

  • Rep. Rick W. Allen, R-Ga.
  • Rep.Glenn Grothman R-Wis.
  • Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa
  • Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif.
  • Rep. Frank D. Lucas, R-Okla.
  • Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky.
  • Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C.
  • Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla.
  • Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio
  • Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas
  • Rep. Patrick J. Tiberi, R-Ohio
  • Rep. Randy K. Weber Sr., R-Texas
  • Rep. David Young, R-Iowa

Outside the halls of Congress, industry stakeholders are signing 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.

Supporters include:

  • Agricultural Retailers Association
  • American Farm Bureau Federation
  • American Pyrotechnics Association
  • Associated Equipment Distributors
  • Lucas Oil
  • National Association of Small Trucking Companies
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
  • National Cotton Council
  • National Grain and Feed Association
  • National Ground Water Association
  • National Hay Association
  • National Motorists Association
  • National Pork Producers Council
  • National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
  • Petroleum Marketers Association of America
  • Towing and Recovery Association of America

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association issued a Call To Action shortly after the bill was introduced 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 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.”

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 House.gov 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 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.

Copyright © OOIDA

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