Although the consumer press is reporting that a compromise deal on Capitol Hill would delay the hours of service proposal, Congress recessed yesterday afternoon without making it official.
According to published reports, new hours of service rules will be put off for at least a year under negotations to resolve differences between Senate and House versions of transportation spending bills -- but research and comments will be allowed to continue.
The Senate, in its version of the $30 billion transportation spending bill for fiscal year 2001, barred funding for the Transportation Department to move ahead with the new rules at all. This provision was backed by the American Trucking Assns. There was no such provision in the House spending bill.
Sources told the Associated Press that the House and Senate agreed on a compromise in which comments and research on the new trucking hours rules can continue, but no final rule can be be published until the 2002 fiscal year, beginning Oct. 1, 2001.
The compromise is not yet official; the conference committee will continue its work reconciling the two bills next week.
We'll have a full report on the compromise agreement as soon as it becomes official.