Following a House of Representatives Wednesday night vote that eliminated one of the efforts to delay the upcoming mandate, countless truckers were upset, looking for answers and direction as to where to turn next.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has been battling against electronic logging mandates for years, successfully defeating a previous attempt at a mandate in court. In response to the inquiries about next steps, OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer sent a letter to explain the Association’s reaction and action going forward.
The letter, in its entirety, states:
“Late last night, the House voted on an amendment to a large spending bill offered by Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) that would have delayed implementation and enforcement of FMCSA’s ELD mandate until Sept. 30, 2018. The bipartisan amendment was co-sponsored by Reps. Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.), Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Jason Smith (R-Mo.), and had the support of 30 associations representing a wide variety of industries.
“During debate on the amendment, Rep. Babin made a clear and compassionate argument for his colleagues to support the measure – dispelling the notion ELDs will improve safety, highlighting the need to support small businesses and touting the benefits of regulatory relief. His comments were as compelling as we could have hoped. The congressman’s remarks can be viewed here.
“Unfortunately, the amendment failed by a vote of 173 to 246.
“First and foremost, please visit FightingForTruckers.com to see how your member of Congress voted last night. If your representative supported Rep. Babin’s amendment, please call to thank them. They stood up against significant pressure from the ATA, megacarriers and safety advocates when casting their vote to support you. They deserve our thanks. Also, don’t be afraid to contact those representatives who cast ‘no’ votes. Be sure to ask why they couldn’t support professional drivers and explain how the ELD mandate will negatively impact your operations.
“Many will wonder if attempting to secure a delay through a spending bill, rather than focusing our efforts on the advancement of HR3282 (Rep. Babin’s standalone bill to delay implementation by two years) was the right approach. Without doubt, it was. In today’s Washington, only ‘must-pass’ bills reach the President’s desk. Even the most meritorious measures face a daunting path to enactment through the dysfunctional halls of Congress. But spending bills are categorically ‘must pass’ pieces of legislation. While there was never any assurance HR3282 would advance through the House, pass the Senate and be signed into law by the president before the Dec. 18 implementation deadline, there was certainty Congress would be forced to pass an annual spending bill to keep the federal government operating.
“While the Babin amendment was our best chance to secure a delay, it is certainly not our only opportunity. We will work with our many coalition partners to gather additional support for HR3282 and apply pressure on House leaders to advance the bill. We will work with our supporters in the Senate to exhaust 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.
“Make no mistake, the outcome of last night’s vote on Rep. Babin’s amendment was a serious blow to our efforts to provide professional drivers regulatory relief from this $2 billion disaster. However, OOIDA will continue fighting for its members until every opportunity to reverse the mandate has been exhausted.”
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