CVSA Legislative Update
The House has passed H.R. 4348. The bill includes another 90-day extension of transportation programs, through September 31st, along with the controversial Keystone Pipeline provisions and language dealing with Gulf Coast restoration. In addition, 3 amendments unrelated to CMV issues were approved.
The bill now heads to the Senate and many expect the two chambers to use this bill as the vehicle for entering into a conference to produce a final transportation bill. The additional extension is presumably intended to give the House and Senate additional time to negotiate the conference, though there has been some opposition from the Senate on the additional delay.
Many Republicans spoke out against HR 4348 because the bill, which has very, very little policy language, leaves the House disadvantaged as they enter into negotiations with the Senate. Others supported the bill as a way to get something, ANYTHING, passed in the House so the two chambers could move forward on a transportation bill. It’s likely, however, that House leaders will attempt use portions of the abandoned HR 7 as their starting point for negotiations.
As reported previously, the Senate has passed their version of a highway bill. The bill is two years in duration and is set at $109 billion. The bill contains a number of provisions supported by CVSA and is considered a critical step forward for CMV safety.