(Updated August 2, 2018)
Senate-passes transportation funding bill Aug. 1st.
Legislation approves $1 billion in infrastructure grants for the 2019 fiscal transportation measure including $154.2 billion package for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Measure as passed 92-6.
The Senate bill would provide DOT with $26.6 billion in discretionary spending. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration would receive $667 million, and $50 million would be provided for improving safety of state-supported passenger rail service
The Federal transportation infrastructure, housing assistance, and community development spending bill was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday, June 7 for $71.4 billion. The bill passed with a unanimous bipartisan support (31-0). So now that the 2019 DOT funding bill advances in the Senate here is what you need to know.
The 2019 DOT Funding Bill Advances in the Senate
The FY2019 Transportations, Housing and Urban Development, and Related (THUD) Appropriations Act unlike it’s House counterpart did not include trucking policy reform. This includes the proposed ELD waiver for livestock haulers and the controversial Denham Amendment.
The Denham Amendment backed by House representatives Jeff Denham (R-Cali), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), and Jim Costa (D-Cali) would standardize meal and rest breaks for truckers. The proposed ELD waiver for livestock and insect haulers would have exempt drivers from the electronic logging device mandate until September 2019. However, the Senate called upon the DOT to “consult with Stakeholder, the Department of Agriculture and Congress on legislative solutions for drivers with unique working conditions.”
The current DOT funding
expires at the end of September however the Senate has not set a date for considering the bill. Once consideration begins in the Senate legislatures can add trucking reforms during the amendment process. The U.S. House has yet to bring the DOT appropriations bill to the floor as well.
If the two governing bodies pass a different version of the bill, the lawmakers will enter a conference committee to produce a finalized bill. This will then be passed again by the respective governing bodies. Any trucking reform that is attached would be subject to intense review during the committee process.
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