U.S. Senate

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October 5, 2014

Blunt: Regs Could Keep U.S. From Taking Advantage of Opportunity

SAN DIEGO -- The United States has exciting opportunities it can take advantage of, if the government shows a little common sense and doesn't allow over-regulation to stand in the way. That was the message of Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., speaking Sunday at the American Trucking Associations' Management Conference and Exhibition.

July 31, 2014

House Rejects Senate Highway Trust Fund Patch as Deadline Looms

Congress is inching ever closer to the edge of insolvency for the Highway Trust Fund. On Thursday afternoon the House rejected the Senate’s bill to patch the Fund into December and sent its original bill back to the upper chamber.

July 29, 2014

Senate Passes December Trust Fund Patch

The Senate passed a short-term patch to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent until December 19, in effect setting up a vote this year on a long-term highway program. The $8 billion bill now goes to the House, which must act quickly if Congress is to keep the fund from going over the precipice.

July 24, 2014

Commentary: Hours of Service Insanity

Combine a truck crash, a celebrity, and an election year, and what do you get? An HOS rules feeding frenzy on Capitol Hill and in the media.

July 23, 2014

Highway Funding Debate Pending in Senate

The Senate is poised to debate and vote on a patch to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent until a long-term program can be funded. The question for debate is, how long will the patch last?

June 26, 2014

Revised Trust Fund Proposal Drops Truck Tax Hike

In an effort to prevent a shutdown of the federal transportation program, the Senate Finance Committee has drafted a proposal to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent through the end of the year. The original version of the proposal included an increase in the heavy vehicle use tax, but that provision was dropped in deference to Republican concern about the proportion of revenue raisers to spending cuts in the proposal.

June 19, 2014

Senate Halts Debate on HOS Restart Provision

Partisan differences halted Senate debate on an appropriations bill that includes a suspension of the 34-hour restart provision of the hours of service rule. As the debate began, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced an amendment that would change Sen. Susan Collins’s provision calling for suspension of the restart and a study of its impact.

June 18, 2014

Another Call for Raising Fuel Taxes

Amid warnings about a looming cutoff in highway funding, two Senators are proposing an old-fashioned fix: raise the federal fuel tax. Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., proposed raising gasoline and diesel taxes six cents a year for two years, then indexing them to the Consumer Price Index.

June 17, 2014

Commentary: Inside a Senate Roundtable on Highway Funding

In late April, Tom Sanderson, CEO of the third-party logistics company Transplace, participated in a roundtable on Capitol Hill about highway funding. As we inch closer to the deadline and the Highway Trust Fund is heading into the red, he offers his impressions of that event.

June 5, 2014

Senate Panel Votes to Suspend Hours of Service Restart Pending Study

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted by a wide margin to suspend the current 34-hour restart provision of the hours of service rule while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration studies the impact of the rule.

June 4, 2014

HOS Restart in Spotlight on Capitol Hill

Truck driver hours of service took center stage Tuesday as Senators grilled Anne Ferro, chief of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, on the new 34-hour restart provision. The exchanges during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the federal highway program were a prelude to a showdown Thursday on the restart.

May 15, 2014

Senate EPW Committee Approves Highway Bill

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously approved its bill to reauthorize the federal highway program. The bill proposes a 6-year program that builds on reforms already in place and calls for continuation of current funding levels plus an adjustment for inflation.

May 15, 2014

Nominees Named for DOT Second, Third Positions

President Obama will formally name two successors to posts within the U.S. Transportation Department, following departures late last year and earlier this year.

May 14, 2014

Carper Sees Hope for Federal Fuel Tax Hike

As Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., sees it, the idea of a fuel tax increase to restore the Highway Trust Fund is not out of the question. Carper’s message to his colleagues in the Senate is to look at a wide range of ideas to save the Fund, but among them consider restoring the purchasing power of the fuel tax.

May 13, 2014

Senate Committee Unveils Six-Year Highway Funding Proposal

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s highway bill picks up on the reforms initiated by its predecessor, MAP-21, and proposes modest funding for a six-year program. The committee calls for current funding levels plus inflation, compared to the $302 billion, four-year program proposed by the Obama administration.

May 8, 2014

Senate Highway Bill Due Monday

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will unveil its highway bill on Monday, May 12, and vote on it the following Thursday, the Committee announced. The bill will propose a six-year highway program that maintains current financing and credit support and adds a strategic freight element to the Department of Transportation’s portfolio.

May 7, 2014

No One Wants to Go First on Highway Taxes

The to-and-fro over highway funding continued in the Senate Wednesday with Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx politely deflecting Sen. John Thune’s attempt to get the Obama administration to say it would accept a fuel tax increase.

May 6, 2014

Senators Intrigued by Virginia Approach to Highway Funding

Could Congress save the Highway Trust Fund by getting rid of the federal fuel tax? Two members of the Senate Finance Committee expressed strong interest in how Virginia solved its infrastructure funding crisis by replacing its per-gallon tax with a wholesale levy on fuel.

April 22, 2014

Carper Will Air Fuel Tax Hike with Senate Colleagues

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., is a longtime supporter of raising federal fuel taxes to pay for highways and will float that idea with his colleagues as they draft the next highway bill. Carper sees a gradual fuel tax increase as a fiscally responsible approach to highway funding but is open to other ideas as well, according to his office.

February 26, 2014

Obama, Camp Offer Highway Funding Solutions

President Obama and Rep. Dave Camp both suggested one-time infusions to the Highway Trust Fund that is expected to run out of money by September.

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