Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
For Immediate Release
OOIDA optimistic by release of House Highway Bill
(Washington D.C., June 3, 2020) – Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) today released his much-anticipated highway bill proposal, starting the House’s long process of developing its version of the next surface transportation reauthorization.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association supports provisions in the bill including increased funding for highway construction, $250 million for truck parking projects, provisions that will help limit excessive detention time and predatory lease-to-own schemes, new restrictions on tolling, and further analysis of questionable H-1B Visa use within the trucking industry.
OOIDA says that truckers will also like what didn’t find its way into the bill, including speed limiter and side underride guard mandates, an increase in minimum insurance requirements or truck size and weight limits, and the lowering of minimum age requirements for interstate drivers.
“Our efforts to shape trucking policies in this proposal have been largely successful,” explained Todd Spencer, President and CEO of OOIDA. “We’ve worked very closely with the Chairman to ensure this bill addresses some of the top priorities of truckers, while making certain it doesn’t include several policies that would hurt small trucking businesses. I think there’s a lot to like about this bill if you’re an OOIDA member, but some aspects will need to be improved.”
Specifically, the Association has concerns about provisions that would return CSA scores to public view before the system has been perfected, further legitimize oral fluids testing, and delay implementation of FMCSA’s hours-of-service final rule.
The Association emphasizes that while the initial bill text released by Chairman DeFazio is promising in several areas, it’s important to remember the bill could change drastically as it moves through the legislative process. OOIDA is prepared to protect the meaningful provisions already included in the bill, work to improve some problematic elements, and aggressively oppose the addition of any harmful amendments that might be offered when it is considered by the Committee later this month.
“We’re still very early in the development of this bill, but all things considered, we’re in pretty good shape especially compared to previous reauthorization proposals,” continued Spencer. “We’ll continue to work closely with Chairman DeFazio and members of the Committee to make this the best bill possible for truckers. We’ll also fight to make sure any poison pills – like a speed limiter mandate or increase to minimum insurance requirements – don’t find their way into this bill during Committee consideration or on the House floor.”
With the bill text now available to the public, OOIDA will be calling on its members to provide more feedback about its contents.
“Tell us what you like, what you don’t like and where the bill needs to be improved,” Spencer continued.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 160,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, Mo. area.