New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker unveiled an amendment to a fiscal 2015 funding bill June 18 that would undo a provision that would suspend for one year a rule that puts limits on the time truckers can operate on roadways.
This week, the full Senate is considering an expansive spending bill that includes proposed funding for transportation programs, and over the past few days, Booker promised to offer his amendment. The exact wording hasn’t been finalized.
“Truck accidents are on the rise, and driver fatigue is a leading cause,” Booker said.
Fellow New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez is a co-sponsor. Other co-sponsors, all Democrats, are West Virginia’s Jay Rockefeller, Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal, New York Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Massachusetts Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, California’s Dianne Feinstein and Ohio’s Sherrod Brown.
The bill’s managers have indicated Booker’s amendment will be considered June 19. The amendment would undo a proposal by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine that was adopted at a committee hearing by a bipartisan vote of 21-9.
Collins’ proposal would call for not funding last year’s changes to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s hours-of-service restart rules while the agency studies the rule and justifies its safety claims to Congress.
The rule took effect last summer. It mandates that truck drivers have a 34-hour resting period between workweeks and include two consecutive 1 a.m.-to-5 a.m. periods during that restart time off.