House Highway Reauthorization Bill Update
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is on day 2 of their mark-up and consideration of H.R. 2, the “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act’’ (INVEST in America Act). The legislation is designed to supplant the current authorization, (the FAST Act), which is set to expire at the end of September. Given the timing, national COVID-19 response and November election, it is very likely that the FAST Act will be provided a series of short-term extensions, until the new Congress can undertake the substantial legislation.
Yesterday afternoon, several elements and recommendations from an FMCSA-led Household Consumer Protection Working Group were included within an amendment offered by Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR). The amendment passed largely along party lines, 36 to 27.
The incorporated Working Group elements in Chairman DeFazio's amendment include visual home surveys, greater transparency for consumers regarding move estimates and providing consumers with their rights/responsibilities information earlier in the moving process, and in an accessible, digital format. Specifics would be developed in rulemaking from the FMCSA. Chuck White participated and represented IAM for the duration of the Working Group, which began their efforts in 2016, with final recommendations issued by the FMCSA in February of last year.
A couple other amendments impacting the industry also received consideration. This morning, an amendment offered by Rep. García (D-IL) that would raise the insurance minimums for commercial vehicles from $750,000 to $2 million, was agreed to by a 37 to 27 vote. An amendment offered by Rep. Lownethal (D-CA) also passed (via voice vote), and would require the FMCSA to develop a final rule for sleep apnea screening criteria (for CDL operators) within two years of bill passage. IAM will continue to follow these issues, as they may receive continued consideration in the new Congress.
IAM will provide another update on the bill's progress, and any relevant amendment votes, when the mark-up has concluded.