By James Jaillet, Overdrive Online, September 08, 2015
Congress
Both chambers of Congress resume work this week coming off of lawmakers’ annual August recess, and both have several major trucking regulatory reforms included in legislation that likely will see action before year’s end.
Here are measures on tap for the coming session:
Highway bill: After again failing to pass a long-term highway funding bill in its spring and summer session, Congress could still manage to get to the president’s desk this year a multi-year bill to fund road and bridge projects.
And, following the 34th short-term funding patch in less than a decade, the highway bankruptcy clock is again ticking: The 90-day extension passed in late July expires Oct. 31.
The odds-on highway bill favorite now is the Senate’s six-year DRIVE Act bill, which the chamber passed in July with a bi-partisan 65-34 vote. House leaders, however, indicated before the August recess they object to some of the bill’s funding mechanisms.
The House has filed its own DRIVE Act bill, though it’s a much slimmer version. If the House passes a highway bill other than the Senate’s version of the DRIVE Act, the two chambers will have to hammer out any differences and then pass the legislation again.
CSA score removal: Included in the Senate’s DRIVE Act is a provision that would remove CSA scores from public view, a measure sought for by the many in the trucking industry since the program took effect in 2010. The bill cleared the Senate in late July with the provision intact. The House still must pass the DRIVE Act, though it likely will produce its own version rather than simply taking up the Senate’s bill. The Senate bill calls for removal of the scores from public view until regulators can fix the program’s flaws.