Senate Advances $1.2T Infrastructure Bill Which Includes Massive Insurance Hike on Truckers
Washington D.C. – The United States Senate has advanced a more than $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending bill that includes a massive insurance hike on truckers.
After months of back-and-forth negotiations between a group of Republican senators and the White House, a deal between the two sides was finalized Wednesday morning.
By the end of the day, the bill, which has not yet been completed, was advanced to debate in the Senate by a vote of 67-32.
All Democrats voted in favor of advancing the measure to debate along with 17 Republicans including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
The legislation reportedly calls for $550 billion in new spending and will include:
• $110 billion for roads, bridges and major projects,
• $39 billion for transit,
• $11 billion for “transportation safety programs,”
• $66 billion for rail,
• $7.5 billion to build electric vehicle (EV) charging stations,
• $5 billion for zero/low emissions buses,
• $17 billion for ports, and
• $25 billion for airports.
The actual text of the Senate’s bill is not yet available, but the INVEST in America Act reauthorizes the surface transportation program for the next five years and includes a long list of controversial provisions which will have major impacts on trucking.
Perhaps the most devastating provision included in the INVEST in America Act is an increase to the minimum amount of insurance required for commercial motor vehicles (CMV) from $750,000 to $2 million, and an order that directs this amount to be adjusted for inflation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) every five years.
The provision could be stripped out during the markup process, but only time will tell.
Click HERE to read more of what’s in the INVEST in America Act and why many trucking groups are concerned.
Trucking’s largest and most powerful lobbying group, the American Trucking Associations (ATA), was quick to applaud the deal.
“It’s refreshing to see Congress do its job and address national problems facing businesses and families,” ATA President and CEO Chris Spear stated. “Americans, and the hardworking men and women who carry this economy on trucks, have waited long enough for Washington to act on our decaying infrastructure.”
President Biden and Democrats Celebrate
President Joe Biden cheered the new developments as “the most significant long-term investment in our infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century.”
“This deal signals to the world that our democracy can function, deliver, and do big things,” the President said. “As we did with the transcontinental railroad and the interstate highway, we will once again transform America and propel us into the future.”
Following Wednesday’s vote to advance the measure, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) again reiterated his intention to both pass the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill along with a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill packed with other Democratic spending priorities.
“We are going to get the job done and we are on track,” Mr. Schumer said.
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 28, 2021
Schumer is targeting passage of both bills by the end of the Senate work period which is Monday, August 9.