U.S. House Passes Controversial Bill to Increase Insurance Minimum, Delay New H.O.S.
Washington D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives approved a controversial $1.5 trillion infrastructure spending bill today largely along party lines.
The Moving Forward Act (MFA-HR 2), was approved in a 233 to 188 vote on Wednesday.
Democrats cheered the passage of the bill as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it will “create millions of good-paying jobs, combat the climate crisis and address inequality nationwide.”
We can keep America #MovingForward, and it starts by rebuilding America’s infrastructure. By investing in communities nationwide, we will create millions of good-paying jobs, combat the climate crisis & address inequality nationwide. pic.twitter.com/Y9VijQuwmI
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) June 30, 2020
The MFA has drawn heavy criticism among trucking groups for including provisions to increase motor carriers’ liability insurance minimum from $750,000 to $2 million, and to delay the implementation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) recently unveiled Hours of Service (HOS) Final Rule.
The HOS Final Rule is set to take effect September 29.
Specifically, the MFA requires the Agency to further study the rule to gain a better understanding of its impact on safety.
It would effectively delay the implementation date by at least 18 months.
Last week, speaking at the Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) Virtual Safety & Security Conference, FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen indicated the Agency is proceeding as if there will be no delay.
Meanwhile, the Owner Operator Independent Driver’s Association (OOIDA), which has been perhaps the most vocal critic of the MFA after the insurance minimum increase provision was included, has warned it will be devastating to many small trucking businesses.
“What this proposal will do is destroy small-trucking businesses in every corner of the country,” OOIDA President and CEO Todd Spencer recently said.
The legislation does include some provisions many trucking stakeholders support such as new funding grants for truck parking and measures to establish limits on detention times by shippers if drivers are not paid.
Republicans opponents derided the bill saying it is a “$1.5 trillion climate bill camouflaged as an infrastructure bill.”
“Speaker Pelosi’s ‘infrastructure’ bill looks a lot more like the Green New Deal than anything based in reality,” said Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO). “In fact, the only green thing not in her $1.5 trillion waste of time is the money to pay for it.”
Speaker Pelosi’s “infrastructure” bill looks a lot more like the Green New Deal than anything based in reality. In fact, the only green thing not in her $1.5 trillion waste of time is the money to pay for it. pic.twitter.com/yovO4BLHb0
— Rep. Sam Graves (@RepSamGraves) June 30, 2020
Republicans predicted the MFA would meet its demise in the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate.
This is shaping up as yet another election year battle.