The ATA and a coalition of more than 150 organizations and companies are asking Congress to pass the Transportation Security Screening Modernization Act. - Photo: Canva/HDT Illustration

The ATA and a coalition of more than 150 organizations and companies are asking Congress to pass the Transportation Security Screening Modernization Act.

Photo: Canva/HDT Illustration

The American Trucking Associations led more than 150 organizations representing trucking, rail, energy, organized labor, agriculture, third-party logistics providers, and other key supply chain stakeholders to urge Congress to pass the Transportation Security Screening Modernization Act. The bill would eliminate redundant fees and background checks for essential transportation workers.

The bill — which was introduced by Representatives Garret Graves (R-LA) and Adam Smith (D-WA) along with Representatives Mark Green (R-TN), Michael Guest (R-MS), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), and Dina Titus (D-NV) — would eliminate redundant fees and background checks for essential transportation workers.

The Transportation Security Screening Modernization Act would cut through red tape to allow workers to apply existing valid background checks to multiple TSA-managed credentialing programs, such as the Transportation Worker Identification Credentials and Hazardous Materials Endorsements.  

Eliminate Duplicative Background Screenings for Drivers

ATA said by eliminating duplicative screenings and harmonizing these programs, the bill would codify formal recommendations by the Government Accountability Office dating back to 2007. These recommendations were reaffirmed in 2020 in a comprehensive security assessment conducted by the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center.

“Subjecting essential supply chain workers to the same exact background check multiple times in order to receive different credentials from the same agency does nothing to enhance security,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This system only serves to pad government coffers by forcing truckers and other transportation workers to pay duplicative fees for a background check they’ve already cleared.

"Congress should not allow the inefficiencies of government bureaucracy to impede the efficiency of our supply chain, especially at the expense of those hardworking men and women who keep our economy running.”

Duplicate Security Screenings Cost Truckers Money, Time

ATA Chairman Andrew Boyle, co-president of Boyle Transportation, pointed out how these issues increase costs for drivers and fleets.

“Here is a perfect example of where Congress can make government work better to support the supply chain and essential, frontline workers who move our economy,” Boye said. “This common-sense, bipartisan bill provides a logical solution to fix some serious flaws in the credentialing process.”

ATA Vice Chairman Wes Davis, president of Big M Transportation, called the current system an onerous process that is “disruptive to supply chain continuity and deters many qualified drivers from obtaining the credentials required to move these critical loads.”

Representatives: Cut the Red Tape for Supply Chain Workers

“Ridiculous regulations and red tape have crushed America’s supply chain workers. We need to expedite the time it takes to put an essential worker into our workforce, not requiring people to stand in line for security credentials only to have them get back in line to obtain a redundant background check for another TSA credential,” said Rep. Garret Graves.

“The supply chain crisis has contributed to higher consumer costs and shortages, and this effort is part of the solution to make sure our transportation workforce is able to work at full speed," Graves said.

Rep. Adam Smith said he has heard from many transportation workers in his district who have had to spend a significant amount of time and money to keep their required credentials up to date.

"The legislation we introduced would create a more streamlined application and renewal process, reducing unnecessary hurdles for transportation workers, a crucial workforce in our economy,” he said, adding that he has the support of the Teamsters Transportation Trades Department, the AFL-CIO, the Washington State Labor Council, and the American Trucking Associations.

Streamline Security Process to Reduce Costs

ATA said this long-overdue reform would reduce costs and hassles for workers such as truck drivers, pipeline operators, longshoremen, and warehouse managers, who must obtain these credentials as a condition of employment.

The bill does not make any modifications to the backend security assessment conducted on individual applicants, ensuring that they undergo the same level of review as they do under current law.

Supporting organizations include:

  • AATCO 
  • Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference
  • Agricultural Retailers Association
  • AgTC Agriculture Transportation Coalition
  • Alabama Trucking Association
  • Alaska Fuel Storage and Handlers Alliance
  • Alaska Trucking Association
  • Allied Van Lines
  • American Association of Port Authorities
  • American Chemistry Council
  • American Pyrotechnics Association
  • American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
  • American Trucking Associations
  • Arizona Moving Association
  • Arizona Petroleum Marketers Association
  • Arizona Trucking Association
  • Arkansas Oil Marketers Association, Inc.
  • Arkansas Trucking Association
  • Association of American Railroads
  • Automobile Carriers Conference
  • Baggett Transportation
  • Border Trade Alliance
  • California Trucking Association
  • Colorado Motor Carriers Association
  • Colorado Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association
  • Connecticut Energy Marketers Association
  • Delaware Motor Transport Association
  • Empire State Energy Association, Inc.
  • Energy Marketers Association of Rhode Island
  • Energy Marketers of America
  • Florida Petroleum Marketers Association, Inc.
  • Florida Trucking Association
  • Fresh Produce Association of the Americas
  • FuelIowa
  • Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey
  • Fuel True: Independent Energy and Convenience of Kansas
  • Fueling Minnesota
  • Garner Trucking Ltd
  • Gases and Welding Distributors Association
  • Georgia Motor Trucking Association
  • Georgia Oilmen’s Association
  • Government Freight Conference
  • Harbor Trucking Association
  • Hawaii Energy Marketers Association
  • Hawaii Transportation Association
  • Idaho Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association
  • Idaho Trucking Association
  • Illinois Fuel & Retail Association
  • Illinois Trucking Association
  • Indiana Food & Fuel Association
  • Indiana Motor Truck Association
  • Institute of Makers of Explosives
  • Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters
  • International Longshore and Warehouse Union Washington Area District Council
  • Interstate Natural Gas Association of America
  • Iowa Motor Truck Association
  • Kansas Motor Carriers Association
  • Kentucky Petroleum Marketers Association
  • Kentucky Trucking Association
  • Louisiana Motor Transport Association
  • Louisiana Oil Marketers and Convenience Store Association
  • Lynden Inc.
  • Maine Energy Marketers Association
  • Maine Motor Transport Association
  • Maryland Motor Truck Association
  • Michigan Petroleum Association / Michigan Association of Convenience Stores
  • Michigan Trucking Association
  • Mid-Atlantic Petroleum Distributors’ Association
  • Minnesota Trucking Association
  • Mississippi Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Stores Association
  • Mississippi Trucking Association
  • Missouri Petroleum & Convenience Association
  • Missouri Trucking Association
  • Montana Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association
  • Montana Trucking Association
  • Motor Transport Association of Connecticut
  • Moving and Storage Conference
  • National Association of Chemical Distributors
  • National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
  • National Energy & Fuels Institute
  • National Industrial Transportation League
  • National Motor Freight Traffic Association
  • National Private Truck Council
  • National Propane Gas Association
  • National Tank Truck Carriers
  • National Van Lines
  • NATSO, Representing America’s Travel Plazas and Truckstops
  • Nebraska Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association
  • Nebraska Trucking Association
  • Nevada Trucking Association
  • New England Convenience Store & Energy Marketers Association
  • New Hampshire Motor Transport Association
  • New Jersey Motor Truck Association
  • New Mexico Petroleum Marketers Association
  • New Mexico Trucking Association
  • North American Van Lines
  • North Carolina Petroleum & Convenience Marketers
  • North Carolina Trucking Association
  • North Dakota Petroleum Marketers Association
  • North Dakota Motor Carriers Association
  • Ohio Energy & Convenience Association
  • Ohio Trucking Association
  • Oklahoma Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association
  • Oklahoma Trucking Association
  • Oregon Fuels Association
  • Oregon Trucking Associations
  • Paxton Van Lines
  • Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association
  • Pennsylvania Petroleum Association
  • Petroleum & Convenience Marketers of Alabama
  • Prestera Trucking Inc.
  • PTS Worldwide, Inc.
  • Radiopharmaceutical Shippers & Carriers Committee
  • Railway Supply Institute
  • Reify Solutions
  • Republic Moving & Storage
  • Rhode Island Trucking Association
  • SIGMA: America's Leading Fuel Marketers
  • SJ Transportation
  • South Carolina Convenience & Petroleum Marketers Association
  • South Carolina Trucking Association
  • South Dakota Petroleum & Propane Marketers Association
  • South Dakota Trucking Association
  • Tennessee Fuel and Convenience Store Association
  • Tennessee Trucking Association
  • Texas Food & Fuel Association
  • Texas Trucking Association
  • Transportation Intermediaries Association
  • Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO
  • Tri-State Motor Transit Co.
  • Trucking Association of Massachusetts
  • Trucking Association of New York
  • Truckload Carriers Association
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Utah Petroleum Marketers & Retailers Association
  • Utah Trucking Association
  • Vermont Fuel Dealers Association
  • Vermont Truck and Bus Association
  • Virginia Petroleum & Convenience Marketers Association
  • Virginia Trucking Association
  • Washington Independent Energy Distributors
  • Washington Movers Conference
  • Washington State Labor Council
  • Washington Trucking Associations
  • West Virginia Oil Marketers & Grocers Association
  • West Virginia Trucking Association
  • Western Petroleum Marketers Association
  • Wisconsin Fuel and Retail Association
  • Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association
  • Women in Motion
  • Wyoming Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association
  • Wyoming Trucking Association
  • 3GL Ltd.
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