Republicans Restore Language in House Funding Bill Calling for ELD Delay
The December mandate on electronic logging devices would not be carried out under a proposal recently added to a fiscal 2018 funding bill in the House.
Republican Reps. Brian Babin of Texas, Lloyd Smucker of Pennsylvania and Doug LaMalfa of California recently offered an amendment to the must-pass bill that would prohibit the U.S. Department of Transportation from funding any regulation having to do with ELDs.
Babin recently withdrew a similar proposal that would have amended the funding bill. His office did not explain the reason for the withdrawal. The Texas congressman also has offered legislation that would delay the ELD mandate by two years. He has 43 co-sponsors.
For the congressmen’s new efforts to be realized, the House must adopt their amendment and advance the funding bill, as amended. The Senate would then have to clear the House version to the president’s desk.
Or, if the Senate amends the legislation but retains the ELD proposal, the House would have to clear the bill without removing the ELD proposal. President Donald Trump would then need to sign the bill into law.
The legislative calendar is limited in September. Congress has until Sept. 30 to send Trump a funding bill to avoid a government shutdown. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) recently indicated his colleagues would “need more time” to advance a year-long funding measure, suggesting a short-term, continuing resolution would be considered prior to Sept. 30 to avoid the shutdown. Trump stressed he would allow a government shutdown if Congress fails to provide funding for a wall along the southwest border with Mexico.
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“If trucking companies want to continue implementing and using ELDs, they should go right ahead. But for those who don’t want the burden, expense and uncertainty of putting one of these devices into every truck they own by the end of the year, we can and should offer relief,” Babin said when he introduced the bill in July.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association supports Babin’s bill. American Trucking Associations and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration support the mandate.
The ELD rule will require carriers to have the device on Dec. 18. The federal agency expects truckers’ hours-of-service compliance to improve as a result of the mandate.