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House Prepares Short-Term Appropriations Bill Without 34-Hour Restart Provision

September 11, 2014

By Oliver Patton

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The House is working on a temporary appropriations measure that does not include a suspension of the 34-hour restart provision of the hours of service rule.

The Continuing Resolution is a relatively “clean” bill that leaves out such initiatives as American Trucking Associations’ attempt to suspend the restart.

Earlier this summer ATA won consideration of the suspension in the Senate’s version of the fiscal year 2015 appropriations bill. The Senate did not finish debate on the provision, however, due to partisan differences over spending policy.

Dave Osiecki, executive vice president and chief of national advocacy for ATA, said the association will continue to try and attach the suspension to the appropriations process.

“Our short-term strategy continues to be appropriations-based,” Osiecki said in response to an email query.

“While the (Continuing Resolution) may not provide an opportunity, it is only a short-term measure.”

The resolution would fund federal programs at current levels until December 15. Congress often uses these types of bills to maintain funding past the end of the October 1 fiscal year. Failure to pass the resolution would lead to a government shutdown.

The resolution probably will go to the floor next week after legislators decide how they want to handle funding issues related to President Obama’s plan to suppress the terrorist group ISIS operating in Iraq and Syria.

The annual appropriations process will resume after the November mid-term election, at which point the restart issue could be in play again.

At issue is the provision in the 2013 hours-of-service rule that requires drivers to take two periods off between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. during their 34-hour restart, and limits use of the restart to once a week.

Some members of ATA and shipping interests contend that the provision reduces productivity without improving safety.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, supported by some carriers, the Teamsters union and safety advocates, stands by the provision.

So far, the Senate has held some debate on a bill by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, that would suspend the restart for a year while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration studies its impact.

And the House has considered a different approach that criticizes but does not suspend the restart. Under this approach, FMCSA would report its evidence for the once-a-week restriction on the restart, including an assessment of the effect of the restriction on safety.

If the restart suspension is not included in the appropriations bill that Congress must eventually pass, ATA will have the option of finding another home for it.

Osiecki declined to say if ATA would follow that path.

An obvious choice for such a tactic would be the bill to reauthorize the federal transportation program, which will include a title covering truck safety regulations.

That bill is due next May, when the current temporary highway program expires, although it is not clear that Congress will be prepared to make a decision on the funding portion of the bill by that time.

Meanwhile, the 34-hour restart provision remains in effect.

Comments

  1. 1. steve [ September 12, 2014 @ 04:13AM ]

    I think the states that r hard on trucks should ban all trucks from thier state see how that works for them .and the tax payers of the states be a bunch of hungry nacked people

  2. 2. bob [ September 12, 2014 @ 04:52AM ]

    Regulations will increase as an ever growing government with thousands of unneeded trough feeders seek to justify their job. Lobbyists are also a huge problem. These people are pimps pure and simple. As long as Congress is allowed to do insider trading they will pass laws that require purchase of a product they own shares of ie: Nancy Pelosi and E-logs. We are governed by what is essentially a mob of self serving would be gang members who have a ruthless me me me mentality.

  3. 3. BarbRRB [ September 12, 2014 @ 05:40AM ]

    When I cannot restart, I just recap. Hopefully they will not take that away. My body works, tells me when I need to sleep. I follow what it tells me and NOT what a bunch of know it all government sys I must do. I put safety FIRST!

  4. 4. Ben [ September 12, 2014 @ 06:37AM ]

    Another fail by ATA leadership. Graves and Osiecki need to go

  5. 5. Geo [ September 12, 2014 @ 10:34AM ]

    The truck drivers of the world need to organize like the Hells Angels or the NRA and form chapters which in turn form a lobyist group that holds a HARD line about what we will do or won't do and then dictate the collective decision to the law makers in state and fed governments and the ATA aint it.
    Clearly with the sheer number of truck drivers in the US alone this group would be too big to ignore especially considering the impact of a strike.
    First and foremost, an immense class action suit needs to be filed against the FMCSA for just about everything they have done and a complete restructuring/overhaul at the Federal level needs to be undertaken as well.
    Only reputable former old timer drivers should be in office bringing up issues and passing laws on what effects drivers.
    There's no real captain at the helm making wise decisions with our lives and this has to come to an end.
    There are a lot more issues that effect drivers other than these silly rules but abolishing these laws first would send a big message.
    The last thing any one of those people in government positions want to do is mess with a truck driver face to face.

    We weild a mighty sword but we just havent learned to swing it yet...but when we do... Look out baby, theres going to be a sound like thunder.

  6. 6. Jose Castro [ September 12, 2014 @ 12:23PM ]

    The new rule is killing us special taking 30 minutes breake is just wrong

  7. 7. LaTroy Wilson [ September 12, 2014 @ 08:17PM ]

    Many of the rule are put in place to protect both drivers and the public. A lot are just silly!! My main point would be, the you can only restart once a week? Running off recap is taking money out of the driver's pay check. Plain and simple.

  8. 8. Phil Killerlain [ September 13, 2014 @ 04:54PM ]

    Geo there is a origination it's called OOIDA and for the most part they do a fair job ! At representing the truckers side it's just that not enough Drivers represent them selves by calling their Congress person and letting know their views

  9. 9. SICofGOV [ September 13, 2014 @ 06:18PM ]

    These people are brainless! Sure, let's implement something that hurts everyone, especially O/O and then let's study the same thing that we know it does not contribute to the safety but in fact has the opposite effect! Definition of insanity is doing same thing over and over expecting different results, welcome to our government!

  10. 10. AC [ September 15, 2014 @ 02:00AM ]

    The 34 hour restart provision is absolutely rediculous. You could get home on Wednsday or Thursday and still not be able to go to work until 5am Monday! It's killing us! What a bunch of idiots!

  11. 11. Kaiyla [ September 16, 2014 @ 11:46AM ]

    I like taking two days off at a time. I run 5-6 days on and I take 2 days off. Every week. And that has worked for me for the last 2 years and I'm sickened that people who are the drivers are acting like sheep in thinking that their paychecks are dropping. I make more money today than I did when I was taking only 34 hours off. I feel safer than when I was only taking 34 hours off. And I have seen the results in the safety record of a company that gives all its workers time off and never pushes for more all in the name of a buck. They've seen the results of tired drivers, hell, I've seen those very same results too. In all my years driving I've never felt safer on the road and there's fewer accidents involving semi trucks to show for the new provisions. You can't argue with the proof, oh well maybe you can.

 

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