September 14, 2023

Only 1 key trucking bill likely to pass in Congress, GovTrack says


WASHINGTON — A slate of trucking-related bills introduced in Congress this year are in various stages of the legislative process, including several proposals to raise federal weight limits on interstates, expand truck parking and streamline the process for issuing CDLs.

Like all legislation introduced on Capitol Hill, however, the chances of most trucking bills actually being enacted into law are slim.

In the 117th Congress (January 2021-January 2023), about 11% of all 15,055 bills introduced successfully passed out of committee. And roughly 21% of the 1,687 bills that made it out of committee to the floor of either the House or Senate for a vote were enacted, according to, an independent, nonpartisan website that tracks pending legislation.

Among significant trucking bills, GovTrack is giving only one a better than 50% chance of being enacted.

Ranked by their chances for actually becoming law (based on GovTrack’s statistical analyses of bills introduced in the previous Congress), below are 10 trucking-related bills that Congress may consider as lawmakers return to Capitol Hill this week from August recess.

1. H.R. 3013 (LICENSE Act of 2023)

Introduced: April 28, 2023, by Darin LaHood, R-Ill.

Summary: Requires the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue regulations updating the qualifications to be a CDL examiner, and allows states to administer CDL driving tests to out-of-state applicants. States would also be allowed to administer driving skills tests to any CDL applicant regardless of the state in which the applicant lives or where he or she received driver training.

Co-sponsors: Six (three Republicans, three Democrats).

Status: Reported out of committee on May 23, 2023, referred to Senate Commerce Committee on companion bill S. 1649.

Prognosis: 51% chance of being enacted.

2. H.R. 3372

Introduced: May 16, 2023, by Dusty Johnson, R-S.D.

Summary: Establishes a voluntary pilot program for states to increase truck weights on federal interstates up to 91,000 pounds on six axles. Participating states would issue permits by vehicle or by group of vehicles that would specify acceptable routes and require permit holders to report on accidents and other details. The program would be discontinued after five years, although the Department of Transportation could extend it for another five years.

Co-sponsors: two (one Republican, one Democrat)

Status: Reported out of committee on May 23, 2023.

Prognosis: 45% chance of being enacted.

3. H.R. 2367 (Truck Parking Safety Improvements Act)

Introduced: March 29, 2023, by Mike Bost, R-Ill.

Summary: Establishes a competitive grant program for commercial motor vehicle parking projects, $755 million over three years (2024-2026).

Co-sponsors: 30 (18 Republicans, 12 Democrats).

Status: Reported out of committee on May 23, 2023.

Prognosis: 35% chance of being enacted.

4. H.R. 3447

Introduced: May 17, 2023, by Greg Stanton, D-Ariz.

Summary: Authorizes hydrogen-powered cars or trucks to exceed certain weight limits on the interstate highway system.

Co-sponsors: None.

Status: Reported out of committee on May 23, 2023.

Prognosis: 34% chance of being enacted. 

5. H.R. 3318

Introduced: May 15, 2023, by Rick Crawford, R-Ark.

Summary: Increases the maximum weight (a variance of 10% per axle) that a commercial vehicle transporting dry bulk goods can carry on an interstate highway to address the issue of certain cargo (such as flour) that tends to shift en route, which potentially can place a truck out of compliance with current weight-per-axle regulations. The bill would not change the truck’s overall gross vehicle weight limits.

Co-sponsors: five (four Republicans, one Democrat).

Status: Reported out of committee on May 23, 2023.

Prognosis: 30% chance of being enacted.

6. H.R. 1435 (Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act)

Introduced: March 8, 2023, by John Joyce, R-Pa.

Summary: Prohibits the adoption of regulations that eliminate the sale of passenger vehicles and trucks equipped with internal combustion engines.

Co-sponsors: 84 Republicans.

Status: Reported out of committee on July 27, 2023. On Sept. 8, the House majority leader indicated the bill may be considered by the chamber this Thursday.

Prognosis: 27% chance of being enacted.

7. H.R. 915 (Motor Carrier Safety Selection Standard Act)

Introduced: Feb. 9, 2023, by Mike Gallagher, R-Wis.

Summary: Requires brokers to verify that a motor carrier is properly registered with DOT, has obtained the minimum required insurance coverage and is not determined unfit to safely operate commercial motor vehicles or otherwise ordered shut down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or a state. Requires FMCSA to enact a safety fitness determination test for trucking companies as a basis for revoking registrations for carriers deemed unfit to safely operate.

Co-sponsors: 19 (15 Republicans, four Democrats).

Status: Reported out of committee on May 23, 2023.

Prognosis: 26% chance of being enacted. 

8. H.R. 2948 (CARS Act)

Introduced: April 27, 2023, by Lance Gooden, R-Texas.

Summary: Requires states to allow automobile transporters to operate on interstate highways at increased weights. The bill addresses the increasing weight of newer vehicles — particularly electric vehicles — allowing a 10% weight increase for certain types of auto haulers.

Co-sponsors: four Republicans.

Status: Reported out of committee on May 23, 2023.

Prognosis: 21% chance of being enacted. 

9. H.R. 3408 (DRIVE Safe Integrity Act of 2023)

Introduced: May 17, 2023, by Rick Crawford, R-Ark.

Summary: Establishes an apprenticeship program for truck drivers under the age of 21 and directs the secretary of transportation to move forward with regulations to allow 18-to-20-year-old commercial motor vehicle drivers to operate across state lines if data does not demonstrate that those in FMCSA’s current pilot program drive less safely than other drivers.

Co-sponsor: one Democrat.

Status: Pending in committee.

Prognosis: 28% chance of getting past committee, 9% chance of being enacted.

10. H.R. 3039 (DRIVE Act)

Introduced: May 2, 2023, by Josh Brecheen, R-Okla.

Summary: Prohibits FMCSA from requiring a national speed limit for vehicles heavier than 26,000 pounds.

Co-sponsors: 27 Republicans.

Status: Referred to committee.

Prognosis: 4% chance of getting past committee, 1% chance of being enacted.

NOTE: The House version of the transportation appropriations bill, which awaits approval by the full chamber, includes a similar provision, which presumably would increase the chances of the legislation being enacted

Click for more FreightWaves articles by John Gallagher.


The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.

Source link
In this article:
Share on social media: