The Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved the fiscal year 2018 spending bill which is void of any trucking-related policy reforms. This is a departure from the House’s version of the same bill, which called for a delay in implementation of electronic logging devices.
The Senate’s 2018 fiscal year Department of Transportation appropriations does not include any changes to the coming electronic logging device mandate. It also does not include the so-called Denham Amendment, the purpose of which is to block states from enacting rest break laws for truck drivers. However there is a separate bill in the Senate to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration and it does include the Denham Amendment.
The House bill was passed by its Appropriations Committee earlier this month. It contains several trucking policies. First, it offers livestock haulers an extra year to adopt electronic logging devices and includes the Denham Amendment provision. The House bill also blocks the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from pursuing a Safety Fitness Determination rule until the agency implements required reforms to the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program. Finally, the House bill directs the DOT to determine “what options DOT has within its statutory authority to provide temporary regulatory relief until all ELD implementation challenges can be resolved. FMCSA shall provide a report on its findings to the House and Senate committees.”
If the House and Senate pass bills that are not identical, legislators from both will need to work together to produce a unified bill. Trucking related reforms could also be adopted during that process.