An omnibus spending bill is to come up in congress this week and it is expected to have the Collins Amendment attached to it. The Collins amendment might be considered controversial for lawmakers but has many in the trucking industry fighting to include it.
The Collins Amendment
The Collins Amendment would eliminate the requirements that a truck operator’s hours restart include two 1am to 5am period.
It would suspend the once-per week limit of the use of the restart.
Require the FMCSA to provide stronger justifications to mandate restart provisions.
The Trucking Industry Rallies
The Collins amendment is being advocated by many trucking groups like the American Trucking Association (ATA), the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA), and the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) to name a few. OOIDA added data from a membership survey that showed 46% of operators felt more fatigued after the new rule took effect and 65% are making less since the new rule. They are asking its members to send letters to their congressmen.
P.S- It’s 17 days before Christmas! Hope you’re all ready.
The American Trucking Association has been pushing for Congress to find a long term highway funding solution however, Obama does not believe that it will get done this year, suggesting Congress concentrate on finding a short-term highway funding fix instead. Obama challenges congress to “redesign and think through how, what is a sustainable way for us on a regular basis to make the investments we need… we’ve got to figure it out”
Raising the gas tax seems like the quickest and most rational fix, which is probably why a bi-partisan pair in the house is pushing for a fuel tax increase. Their bill proposition suggests raising the gasoline and diesel tax by 15 cents over the next three year and more importantly indexing the tax to inflation. They quoted another president, “We simply cannot allow this magnificent (infrastructure) system to deteriorate beyond repair.”- Reagan. He then raised the gas tax from 4 to 9 cents a gallon two months later. The bi-partisan pair might have some support but there are huge challenges.
The reason Obama believes they will not find a highway fund solution anytime soon is the current lame-duck session that Congress is in. Plus, even if they weren’t in a lame-duck session Congress hasn’t raised the gas tax in over 20 years and there’s a reason for that, it’s strategically frightening for members of Congress. It seems the challenges for this simple solution to a major problem might actually be detrimental.
For The Video on Obama’s Proposition go to Transport Topics>>
For More on the Bi- Partisans Proposed Raise in Gas Tax go to HDT>>
Obama’s executive action will bring temporary relief to about 4.5 million illegal immigrants but the current disagreement is to what type of immigrant this will be helping. According to Obama it is directed at technologically and entrepreneurially savvy immigrants making it easier for the U.S. to compete for the world’s best talent. The number of tech visas will grow and they will loosen restrictions for more would-be entrepreneurs.
Many businesses disagree with the outcome of Obama’s executive action stating that it will not be helping those sectors. “While Obama’s immigration order halts the deportations of the parents of U.S. citizens, it does little to help the business community, because most of these people are low-skill workers” says Matt Sonnesyn, immigration director at the Business Roundtable. Many other businesses are stating that although they do believe this to be true, they need “low-skill workers” to do jobs low in supply. With our driver shortage LoadSmart is curious as to what the transportation sectors take on this immigration plan is.