U.S. Capitol Photo: David Cullen

U.S. Capitol Photo: David Cullen

A bipartisan pair of Senators— Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)-- are lending their voices to the chorus opposing the nationwide legalization of twin 33-foot truck trailers via a rider to the T-HUD funding bill now under consideration by the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

In a June 18 letter addressed to the Chairman, Susan Collins (R-ME), and Ranking Member, Jack Reed (D-RI), of the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, Urban Development and Related Agencies, Sens. Wicker and Blumenthal argue that “possible language… [that] would  force states to accept  double  33-foot-long  trailers  on all U.S. highways” should be voted down because they “believe that provisions of this nature should first be fully considered in the House and Senate by  committees  with jurisdiction  over this  important  policy area.”

They requested that any legislation be opposed that contains “provisions related to nationwide changes in truck size under the jurisdiction of the Senate Commerce Committee and truck weights under the jurisdiction of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.”

Having made that parliamentary point, the lawmakers went on to state that “the proposed measure on double 33-foot-long trailers could have a negative impact on highway safety, accelerate wear and tear on the nation's highway system, ignore the laws of many states that prohibit these large trailers, and significantly disrupt the freight industry-- possibly even putting some trucking companies out of business.

"At a minimum,” added Wicker and Blumenthal, “there has not been sufficient dialogue around this measure to understand its full impact."

President Obama has already threatened to veto the entire funding package-- for various reasons-- if it makes it out of the Senate and to his desk in essentially the same form that it took in the House.

About the author
David Cullen

David Cullen

[Former] Business/Washington Contributing Editor

David Cullen comments on the positive and negative factors impacting trucking – from the latest government regulations and policy initiatives coming out of Washington DC to the array of business and societal pressures that also determine what truck-fleet managers must do to ensure their operations keep on driving ahead.

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