Fuel surcharge bill awaits Senate approval

by Land Line staff

When Congress returns on Dec. 5, there will still be time for them to pass the fuel surcharge legislation. The bill passed the House in October without a single objection.

Truckers hoped the Senate would act in favor of HR4441 by now, but lawmakers took a pass on trying to wrap up its work this year during the lame duck session scheduled for Nov. 13-14. Both the House and Senate have decided to wait on the outcome of the Presidential election and return on Dec. 5 to plan its exit strategy.

"The Republicans still control the House and Senate by narrow majorities and it looks as though the new occupant of the White House won't be known for perhaps another week and maybe longer," said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA.

During their three weeks at home, lawmakers heard from scores of their truckdriving constituents. They received letters, faxes, telephone calls and personal visits from owner-operators and other professional truckdrivers. Drivers had the opportunity to introduce themselves to their Senators and let them know how high fuel prices have affected the owner-operators. Spencer says OOIDA still believes that fuel prices could jump dramatically making this the worst winter for truckers in history and that HR4441 is badly needed. Spencer believes the efforts of truckers, as well as their family and friends, remains very important in order to keep this bill on the Senate's radar screen and to convince them to pass it.

"Trying to get HR4441 passed through Congress has been a long, and at times, difficult process," Spencer said. "Our work, however, is not done until this bill gets passed."

"If there is one rule that holds true in Washington year after year, it is that the squeaky wheel eventually gets the grease. If HR4441 is going to succeed, it will be due to the monumental efforts of OOIDA members, fellow truckers, and their families who kept this cause alive."