Trucking Groups React to ‘Counterproductive’ $2+ Trillion Infrastructure Plan With ‘Concern’
Washington D.C. – Trucking groups are speaking out about President Joe Biden’s newly unveiled $2+ trillion infrastructure plan.
In a speech on Wednesday, President Biden rolled out the details of the massive spending initiative he’s dubbed the “American Jobs Plan.”
“The American Jobs Plan is a once-in-a-generation investment in America unlike anything we have seen or done since we built the Interstate Highway System and won the Space Race decades ago,” the President said. “It’s big. It’s bold. And we can get it done.”
The plan calls for spending $2.25 trillion over eight years to be funded with 15 years of tax hikes on businesses which critics argue will serve to slow the economy thus actually eliminate jobs, and result in higher prices because businesses will simply pass the new costs on to consumers in the form of price increases.
Click HERE to read Transportation Nation Network’s breakdown of what’s in the proposal.
Leading trucking groups are reacting to the President’s proposal with “concern.”
Most trucking stakeholders are in support of fixing America’s dilapidating infrastructure and adequately funding the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).
However, trucking groups are pushing back on how the Biden Administration is proposing to pay for the trillions in new spending while also not securing a long-term funding solution.
John Lyboldt, president of the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) said on Thursday, “TCA acknowledges the dedication of President Biden and his administration to improve our nation’s deteriorating infrastructure; however, we remain vitally concerned that the proposed plan does not address creating a fully sustainable funding mechanism to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent and other components which are sure to be challenged by Congress.”
President and CEO of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) Chris Spear shared a similar view.
“We do not believe the Administration’s funding proposal is politically tenable nor a reliable long-term solution to the shortfall facing the Highway Trust Fund,” Spear stated.
TCA and ATA support increasing federal diesel and gasoline taxes to pay for infrastructure projects.
Lisa Mullings, president and CEO of NATSO, the largest trade association representing the nation’s truckstops and travel plazas, also called for ditching the tax hikes on businesses.
“Policymakers should seek self-sustaining infrastructure funding mechanisms, such as increasing the motor fuels taxes or a vehicle-miles traveled tax, rather than imposing corporate tax increases, which will hinder the economic recovery of businesses that have yet to emerge from the pandemic,” she commented.
President Biden Slips in Controversial I/C Wipeout Bill
Further, there is another provision in the plan that is raising alarm across the trucking industry.
Included in the plan is the controversial Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act many trucking groups say will destroy the industry’s leased owner-operator model.
Click HERE to see how Democrats intend to pass the PRO Act.
Both Lyboldt and Spear also expressed dismay the Biden Administration included the PRO Act, with Spear calling it a “political poison pill” and “counterproductive to economic growth.”
James Lamb, president of the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC), has been an outspoken critic of the PRO Act.
On Thursday, he told Transportation Nation Network (TNN) his nearly 15,000-member group is urging Congress to provide a carve out provision to trucking businesses.
“We have worked to have an exemption put in place for truckers,” Lamb informed. “Several Republicans agree with that position, but no Democrats so far. We will continue to work for the exemption.”
Additionally, Lamb expressed frustration that other key issues critical to trucking infrastructure was not addressed such as funding for truck parking.
“We are not seeing a lot in the infrastructure bill to directly help truckers,” he said.
Stay with TransportationNation.com for the latest as the legislative battle over these issues are just beginning.