Home highway bill aims to increase insurance, sleep apnea screens, more
The House Transport and Infrastructure Committee on Friday introduced a new $ 547 billion highway bill called “INVEST in America Act, which contrasts with the Bill on the road to the Senate in a few key areas.
Bill proposes to spend $ 1 billion on “a subsidy program to address the parking shortage for commercial motor vehicles” and to increase the minimum amount of insurance required for commercial motor vehicles by $ 750,000 to $ 2 million, which the FMSCA would be required to adjust for inflation. every five years.
The Senate bill, which passed unanimously in committee in May, does not mention truck parking or minimum insurance requirements. Other provisions of the House bill would require screening for sleep apnea, impose limits on drivers’ personal transportation, and return CSA scores for public view.
[Related: Inside the divide between docs and Congress, truckers over sleep apnea]
The Senate bill deals much less with issues specific to trucking, but both bills take a broad view of “infrastructure” and hope to tackle issues such as climate change and increased access to rail. suburbs. The House bill proposes $ 4 billion for electric vehicle charging stations and $ 8.3 billion to reduce carbon emissions. The Senate bill includes $ 2.5 billion to create charging corridors for alternative fuels and electric vehicles along the national highway system and $ 18 billion in climate programs, including $ 6.4 billion for reduce greenhouse gas emissions and $ 8.7 billion to increase resilience to extreme weather conditions.
One of the sponsors of the House bill celebrated the expanded vision for infrastructure endorsed by the House, Senate and President Joe Biden.
“As chairman of the Highways and Public Transport Subcommittee, I think the country today needs a new and more comprehensive approach far beyond our previous bills,” Eleanor said. Holmes Norton (D-DC) in a press release. “For example, this bill addresses entirely new issues never before considered, such as climate change and multimodal access in and through towns and villages.”
The House will consider the bill during a markup on Wednesday. If the bill passes by the Democratic-controlled house, Congress will reconcile it with the proposed Senate freeways bill and present the final legislation to President Biden, who has signaled his support for sweeping bills. infrastructure law including climate and equality initiatives.
The Independent Owner-Operator Drivers Association (OOIDA) fiercely rejected many of the House’s trucking provisions on Friday, calling the increase in minimum insurance requirements “unnecessary” and “poison pill” for truckers.
“Everyone knows this increase will do absolutely nothing to improve safety on our highways and destroy small trucking companies,” Todd Spencer, president and CEO of OOIDA said in a statement. “What good is a freeway bill when it supports the unbridled greed of trial lawyers more than that of truckers?” Spencer continued, with reference to the growing number of nuclear verdicts throughout the trucking industry.
[Related: Trade groups call on House to reject insurance increases]
American Trucking Associations (ATA) President and CEO Chris Spear hailed the INVEST in America Act as “a strong piece of legislation that allows for a transformative increase in funding for roads and bridges, creating a foundation strong new investments that match the growing needs of our country’s aging infrastructure, ”noting that the ATA supports the bill and will continue to work to improve and enact it.
OOIDA challenged the bill’s sleep apnea screening requirement and the return of public CSA scores, but applauded the bill for its investment in truck parking.
“For years, we have pushed the federal government to take the lead in addressing the number one concern of truckers – lack of truck parking,” Spencer explained. ” We are pleased [the] the proposal includes $ 1 billion to increase capacity. We just wish he left the other garbage out of that.
The bill states that any new commercial trucking parking lot that receives government funds must be free for truckers to use.
Truck parking was the number one issue for drivers on the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) ‘s 2020 list of top industry problems, but was not on the Top 10 Carriers list.