June 9, 2015 11:38 PM, EDT

House OKs Transportation Bill With 33-Foot Trailer, HOS Provisions

Rep. Diaz-Balart via
The House on June 9 approved spending legislation with key trucking provisions, including one that would permit twin 33-foot trailers on U.S. highways. The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill now goes to the Senate.

The bill, which passed 216-210, also would require that before the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s 34-hour restart rule is reinstated, a study must be conducted on the rule’s safety benefit. Overall, the legislation would provide FMCSA with $572 million.

In addition, the measure includes a provision that blocks the U.S. Department of Transportation from issuing a rule intended to increase insurance requirements for motor carriers.

American Trucking Associations applauded passage of the bill.

“By including language requiring a more robust study of the hours-of-service restart restrictions originally imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in July 2013, and a modest increase in the length of some truck combinations, the House has taken an important step in improving the safety of our highways, first and foremost, but also the efficiency of our highway system and the industry that moves nearly 70% of the nation’s goods,” ATA President Bill Graves said.

The White House is opposed to the trucking provisions and has threatened to veto the bill over the $55.3 billion discretionary funding proposal. The amount represents a $1.5 billion increase above the current funding.