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October 2, 2017 4:45 PM, EDT
Capitol Agenda for the Week of Oct. 2: Seriously, ELD Mandate Is Happening
OOIDA's Todd Spencer Owner-Operator Indpendent Drivers Association via YouTube

Failed attempts in court and on Capitol Hill to delay the upcoming electronic logging device mandate have done little to discourage critics of the rule who continue to push for a delay.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is among the nearly three dozen groups to recently urge policymakers to approve a two-year extension of the Dec. 18 mandate via legislation sponsored by Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas).

OOIDA’s allies in this latest effort include the American Pipeline Contractors Association, Lucas Oil Products and the National Corn Growers Associations. Worth noting, however, is that the U.S. House already voted overwhelmingly to reject Babin’s measure. And, yet, the calls for a delay persist. Take for instance OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer (above), who last week hosted a press conference at the National Press Club. “The electronic logging device mandate is written so broadly that it has far-reaching implications well beyond the traditional trucking industry,” Spencer said.

Spencer’s assertion is contradicted by federal regulators, myriad stakeholders and the industry as represented by American Trucking Associations. The leadership at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said it expects hours-of-service compliance to improve after the mandate. Telematics experts advise drivers to prepare now to comply with the ELD rule. And ATA President Chris Spear recently told Transport Topics: “Any attempt by groups that still hold out some hope that this is going to be revoked so that they can continue skirting the federal hours-of-service limitations — ’cause that’s really all this is about, and maintain 19th-century paper log technology — they’re in for a rude awakening.”

THE WEEK AHEAD (all times EDT):

Oct. 3, 10 a.m.: Senate Finance Committee meets for a hearing titled, “International Tax Reform.”

Oct. 3, 11:45 a.m.: President Trump arrives in Puerto Rico to assess the damage from Hurricane Maria.

Oct. 3-5: The Smart Cities Council holds its Smart Cities Week Conference.

Oct. 4, 7:45 a.m.: The Ripon Society examines tax reform with Republican Reps. Jim Renacci of Ohio and Erik Paulsen of Minnesota.

Oct. 4, 9:30 a.m.: The Natural Gas Supply Association hosts a news conference on production outlook.

Oct. 4, 10 a.m.: House Transportation and Infrastructure Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee meets for a hearing on “Building a 21st-Century Infrastructure for America: Rail Stakeholders’ Perspectives.”

Oct. 4, 10 a.m.: The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee meets to consider self-driving vehicle legislation.

Oct. 4, 3 p.m.: House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) hosts a member forum on the rescue and recovery effort in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Oct. 5, 9:30 a.m.: Senate Environment and Public Works Committee meets to review the nomination of Paul Trombino to become the next administrator of the Federal Highway Administration.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

NAVISTAR: Disruptions of supply chain operations are coming and will shake up the trucking industry from fleets to suppliers, said Persio Lisboa, chief operating officer at Navistar International Corp., at the annual Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association Breakfast and Briefing during the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle Show Sept. 27. 

PORT OF BALTIMORE: The Port of Baltimore handled a record-breaking 10.3 million tons of general cargo and nearly 908,000 20-foot- equivalent units of containers in the 2017 fiscal year ending June 30, the Maryland Port Administration announced Sept. 28. 

LYFT: Ford will begin testing self-driving cars on ride-hailing company Lyft’s network with human drivers at the wheel for backup, the companies said Sept. 26.

BUZZ:

Several carriers told Transport Topics they were able to prep big-money deals at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show.

WHAT WE’RE READING:

Shaun Courtney with BloombergBNA flushes out an update from Democrats on the Environment and Public Works Committee calling on the White House for an update on its $1 trillion infrastructure funding proposal.

FAVORITE QUOTE:

The president isn’t setting any criteria up front as to what he’s going to veto and what he’s not going to veto. What the president is doing is working with Congress.

— Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on ABC News’ ‘This Week’ on Oct. 1, 2017

FAVORITE VIDEO:

Policymakers from Rhode Island touted investments in infrastructure ahead of the state’s inaugural infrastructure summit.

FAVORITE TWEET:

The Sunshine State shows the love for the Isle of Enchantment.

Thank you for reading Capitol Agenda. We publish weekly when Congress is in session. E-mail emulero@ttnews.com with tips. Follow @eugenemulero and @transporttopics on Twitter.