New Plan Introduced to STOP Massive Insurance Hike on Small Trucking Businesses
Washington D.C. – An Illinois Congressman has introduced an amendment to stop House Democrats’ plan to increase the minimum insurance requirements for motor carriers.
The years-long debate over raising liability insurance requirements for motor carriers was reignited last week when the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee approved an amendment to the INVEST in America Act, a $500 billion highway funding bill, that would increase the minimum from $750,000 to $2 million.
The amendment was proposed by Rep. Chuy Garcia (D-IL) who said he introduced the measure “to support families recovering from crashes.”
The INVEST in America Act has since been rolled into one giant $1.5 trillion infrastructure spending package called the Moving Forward Act (MFA).
Numerous trucking groups that otherwise could be inclined to support the package continue to argue for the elimination of Rep. Garcia’s provision.
The Owner Operator Independent Driver’s Association (OOIDA) has been the most vocal in its opposition.
“While we firmly supported the bill when it was introduced, the addition of the Garcia amendment has left us no choice but to reverse our position,” OOIDA recently wrote in an email to members of the House T&I Committee. “We cannot support legislation that will cause many of our members to lose their businesses and livelihoods.”
Further, OOIDA warned, “An overnight increase in minimum financial responsibility of 167% will undoubtedly devastate many small trucking businesses. The 265,000 single-truck operators working in America today will be particularly at risk.”
The Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) also blasted Rep. Garcia’s plan.
“While in a perfect world, an adjustment for inflation would seem reasonable, choosing this year is not only insensitive to the plight independent truckers have experienced since COVID-19 hit, but a downright assault on them,” an SBTC statement said.
Trucking’s most influential group, the American Trucking Associations (ATA), also came out specifically against Garcia’s amendment this week calling it an “arbitrary increase.”
While the ATA took a much more nuanced position than OOIDA and SBTC, the group made it clear it would not support the MFA in its current form.
Read more on ATA’s position HERE.
An Illinois Congressman with family ties to the trucking industry, Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL), heard these concerns and has now introduced an amendment to the MFA which would “strike” Garcia’s amendment.
The House Rules Committee is scheduled to meet on Monday, June 29, to determine if Rep. Bost’s amendment will be voted on.
Meanwhile, OOIDA has issued a Call to Action to its members who are represented by the following Democratic lawmakers:
• Rep. Colin Allred (Texas-32)
• Rep. Sharice Davids (Kansas-3)
• Rep. Abby Finkenauer (Iowa-1)
• Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (Texas-7)
• Rep. Conor Lamb (Pennsylvania-17)
• Rep. Tom Malinowski (New Jersey-7)
• Rep. Chris Pappas (New Hampshire-1)
• Rep. Greg Stanton (Arizona-9)
Each voted to approve the addition of Rep. Garcia’s amendment to the bill.
“Because of (your lawmaker’s) vote, you could soon be paying much more in insurance so trial lawyers can pocket bigger payouts when they sue truckers,” OOIDA wrote in an email to members.
TransportationNation.com will continue to bring you the latest in this battle.