Jun 16, 2023

New Trucking Bills to Watch in Congress this 2023

The current week saw several bills being presented in the United States House of Representatives, focusing on critical concerns encountered by the trucking sector. These proposed legislations aim to tackle challenges related to workforce development, litigation mishandling, and supply chain constraints faced by the industry.

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Currently, here are the 4 Trucking Bills:

  • Veteran Improvement Commercial Driver License Act


  • Highway Accident Fairness Act

  • CARS Act

In this article, we will closely look at these trucking bills and proposals. Moreover, we will continue to provide our support and update news as they advance through the legislative process.

Enhancing the Availability of Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Programs for Military Veterans

Challenge: The transition of military service members to civilian life can be challenging, prompting the utilization of GI Benefits for further education. At present, veterans seeking to acquire a commercial driver’s license have a comprehensive selection of 8,400 GI-Bill-sanctioned programs to choose from.

In the event that an approved trucking school decides to establish a supplementary campus in a different area, the institution is required to endure a two-year waiting period before becoming eligible for reimbursement under the GI Bill.

Solution: The proposed solution to the hindrance of CDL program expansion is the Veteran Improvement Commercial Driver License Act, which aims to eliminate the unwarranted two-year waiting period. The bill was recently introduced by esteemed Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Alex Padilla (D-CA), and has received support from Representatives Chuck Edwards (R-NC), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Eli Crane (R-AZ), and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA).

Enhancing the Efficiency of the Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Procedure by Implementing Streamlined Measures

Challenge: The current regulatory framework presents an unnecessary complexity in the process of CDL training and testing. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, FMCSA issued temporary waivers that streamlined the process for aspiring drivers seeking to obtain their CDL.

Solution: The proposed act, known as the Licensing Individual Commercial Exam-takers Now Safely and Efficiently Act (LICENSE), seeks to establish permanent waivers by implementing the following solution:

  • Enabling the authorization of third-party examiners for both the CDL skills and knowledge tests, thereby granting them the ability to administer said tests.

  • Granting the authorization for states to conduct driving proficiency evaluations for non-resident candidates.

Last April 2023, the House witnessed the introduction of a bill by Representatives Darin LaHood (R-IL), Troy Balderson (R-OH), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Jim Costa (D-CA), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), and Josh Harder (D-CA).

Upon the homecoming of our heroic service members, it is imperative that they are not burdened by bureaucratic hurdles that impede their ability to achieve the American dream they so valiantly defended.

Addressing the Issue of Excessive Litigation in a Proactive and Strategic Manner

Challenge: One of the prominent challenges faced by our industry is the incessant onslaught of vexatious litigation from the plaintiffs' bar, which has turned the civil justice system into a lucrative source of income. This has resulted in staged accidents, third-party litigation financing, and unreasonable nuclear verdicts, all of which pose a threat to highway safety and put undue pressure on the supply chain.

Solution: The implementation of the Highway Accident Fairness Act would effectively curb the exploitation of legal proceedings by promoting equitable and just outcomes through the following measures:

  • The implementation of punitive actions against orchestrated highway collisions that involve commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) is being pursued.

  • In instances where the dispute at hand involves interstate commerce and surpasses $5 million, the federal courts are granted authority over legal proceedings pertaining to truck collisions.

  • Mandating the divulgence of external litigation financiers.

  • Just this April 2023, the introduction of a bill was spearheaded by distinguished Representatives Henry Cuellar of Texas, Garret Graves of Louisiana, and Mike Bost of Illinois, who collaborated on the legislation with great diligence and expertise.

The proposed legislation aims to promote equity and impartiality by limiting the misuse of lawsuits and facilitating fair resolution of accident-related disputes based on justice rather than opportunistic gains.

Improving the efficiency of the commercial driver's license (CDL) credentialing process while maintaining optimal safety measures is a rational measure that can aid in addressing the current shortage of approximately 80,000 truck drivers across the country.

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Assisting Automotive Transporters in Mitigating Traffic Jams

Challenge: The challenge arises as the promotion of electric vehicles by state and federal policymakers increases, as a supply chain constraint begins to develop. The weight of EVs surpasses that of their internal-combustion-engine counterparts, leading to a decrease in the amount of vehicles auto-haulers can transport, necessitating the use of additional trucks to transport the same number of vehicles to market.

Solution: The introduction of the Carrying Automobiles Responsibly and Safely (CARS) Act by Congressman Lance Gooden (R-TX) presents a solution that seeks to enhance the weight limits for auto carriers. Such a measure would contribute immensely to the responsible and safe transportation of automobiles.

The accelerated pursuit of zero emissions by both the Administration and California presents numerous obstacles for our industry, supply chain, and economy. In light of these challenges, the implementation of the CARS Act stands as a rational and practical solution to assist our industry in effectively navigating the increasing number of environmental policies.

Conclusion: From Truck Bills to Trucking Laws

In conclusion, the four trucking bills currently being discussed have the potential to make a significant impact on the trucking industry. Each of the proposed bills addresses a specific issue or concern, such as improving opportunities for veterans, reducing regulatory burdens for trucking companies, and increasing safety measures on the highways.

While it remains to be seen which bills will ultimately be passed into a trucking law, it is clear that lawmakers are focused on finding solutions to key issues facing the trucking industry. As such, it is important for trucking companies and industry professionals to stay informed and engaged in the legislative process to ensure that their voices are heard.

Speaking of legislation, it is equally important that you keep your company DOT and FMCSA compliant. If your company needs support on this aspect, feel free to reach out to Labworks USA here.

Our DOT Consortium's friendly team will be more than happy to discuss any concerns you may have and work with you to ensure you are always fully compliant, especially with random DOT drug and alcohol testing and pre-employment testing. Moreover, if you need help with FMCSA Clearinghouse registration, we can further support you.