Congress

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January 27, 2014

Administration Urges Quick Action on Highway Funding

The Obama administration continues to send urgent signals that the Highway Trust Fund is in trouble. In remarks Monday to the American Trucking Associations Executive Committee, Peter Rogoff, acting under secretary at the Transportation Department, said the fund probably will run into the red before the program ends Oct. 1.

January 27, 2014

With Funding Clock Ticking, Congress Turns to Highway Bill

Congress is getting to work on the next highway bill. At its opening hearing on reauthorization on Jan. 14, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee heard urgent calls for a bipartisan approach to sustainable funding, a multi-year program and federal leadership.

January 21, 2014

New FMCSA Rule Targets Willful Violators

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s newest enforcement tool is a shutdown order for carriers that flagrantly disregard the safety rules. Under a final rule to be posted this week, the agency can suspend or revoke the authority of willful repeat violators, and impose civil or criminal penalties.

January 13, 2014

Bill Calls for Shipping Fee for Infrastructure Improvements

Legislation has been offered up in the U.S. House that backers say will support improvements to infrastructure and transportation in the national freight mobility network through a new tax on freight shipments.

January 10, 2014

Dave Osiecki to Lead ATA’s Legislative Affairs Office

UPDATED -- Dave Osiecki, senior vice president of policy and regulatory affairs at American Trucking Associations, will take charge of the association’s lobbying shop.

January 9, 2014

Q&A: Rep. Earl Blumenauer on His Bill to Raise the Fuel Tax

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., introduced a bill that would raise federal fuel taxes and index them to the cost of living to pay for more investment in roads and bridges. The bill would repeal the taxes by 2025 in anticipation of replacing them with a vehicle-mile tax.

January 8, 2014

ATA Calls on Washington to Have a Productive 2014

With Congress returning to Washington this week, leaders of American Trucking Associations called on lawmakers and policymakers in Washington to take several steps to improve the nation’s economy and make our highways safer.

January 8, 2014

LaHood Named Co-Chair of Infrastructure Lobby Group

The Washington, D.C. lobby group, Building America’s Future, has announced that former U.S. Secretary of Transportation and Republican Ray LaHood is joining the organization as a new co-chair.

January 7, 2014

Mary Phillips Steps Down from ATA Legislative Post

Mary Phillips, senior vice president for legislative affairs at American Trucking Associations for the past three years, is stepping down from her post. The moves comes as Congress gears up for the next highway bill, a crucial test for trucking interests on Capitol Hill.

December 20, 2013

Congressional Budget Doesn’t Cut Highway Funding

Less than a week after the U.S. House passed the budget deal agreed upon by both chambers, the Senate on Wednesday passed the bill that outlines spending levels for two years by a vote of 64-36.

December 12, 2013

Federal Budget Deal Addresses Oil Drilling and Highways

UPDATED -- A bipartisan federal budget deal reached Tuesday between members of the U.S. House and Senate to keep the federal government from shutting down, contains a little-known provision on drilling for oil and gas.

December 10, 2013

Creation of Freight Network Not an Easy Task

In last year’s highway bill, Congress said it wants the Department of Transportation to set a place for freight at the transportation policy table. The first step in that process, defining a highway-based Primary Freight Network, is under way now. It turns out, though, that tracing a Primary Freight Network is not a simple thing.

December 5, 2013

Senator Urges FMCSA to Act on Food Safety

A recent news report about broken truck reefer units in Ohio prompted Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, to press the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to act on food safety.

December 4, 2013

Fuel Tax Hike Proposal Draws Broad Support

Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s bid to raise federal fuel taxes to pay for more investment in roads and bridges drew strong support from a wide range of interests, including American Trucking Associations.

December 3, 2013

Blumenauer to Propose Diesel and Gasoline Tax Hikes

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., will introduce bills to raise federal fuel taxes, index them to inflation and test a vehicle-mile tax. The proposals, which Blumenauer is scheduled to discuss on Capitol Hill Wednesday, come as Congress begins to consider ways to revive funding for U.S. roads and bridges.

November 26, 2013

Shuster Urges Quiet Approach to Highway Funding

With the House and Senate going to conference on a Water Resources Development bill, the way is clear for transportation committees in both chambers to take up reauthorization of the federal highway program.

November 21, 2013

Little Common Ground at Restart Hearing

The subject at Thursday’s House hearing was truck driver hours-of-service regulations, but the target was federal regulation of business. Anne Ferro, chief of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, testified that the 34-hour restart provision of the rule will save an estimated 19 lives a year.

November 20, 2013

34-Hour Restart Faces Test

The stage is set for a political grilling of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration at a House hearing Thursday on the hours-of-service rule. Amid relentless criticism of the 34-hour restart and 30-minute break provisions of the rule, agency administrator Anne Ferro will be called on to explain and defend the agency’s decision-making.

November 14, 2013

House Panel Sets Hours-of-Service Hearing

A House subcommittee will hold a hearing on the truck driver hours-of-service rule next week. The Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce of the Small Business Committee will question Anne Ferro, chief of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, on the rule.

October 31, 2013

Proposal Would Allow for Hair Testing of Truckers for Illegal Drugs

Legislation has been introduced on Capitol Hill allowing trucking companies the option of using hair testing for illegal drugs as an approved method of screening drivers.

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