Truck Parking in the Spotlight on Capitol Hill
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The transportation panel in the House of Representatives is tackling the truck parking issue this week.
As part of a hearing May 23 to consider supply chain-centric bills, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee scheduled a vote on the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act. (May 24 update: House panel advances parking bill.)
“I understand how difficult, and oftentimes dangerous, it can be when America’s truckers are forced to push that extra mile in search of a safe place to park,” Bost said in March during the bill’s introduction. “By expanding access to parking options for truckers, we are making our roads safer for all commuters and ensuring that goods and supplies are shipped to market in the most efficient way possible. This is a matter of public safety, and I’m committed to do all I can to drive this legislation over the finish line.”
Sens, Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.)
“Wyoming is home to three major interstates that carry thousands of tons of cargo a day. Without safe truck parking, truckers spend an unnecessary amount of time searching for a place to park — putting truckers and Wyoming drivers at greater risk for accidents,” Lummis said in March. “This is easily solvable, and I am thankful to Sen. Kelly for joining me in finding a common-sense solution.”
“Clearly, it’s a supply chain problem if the people we count on — the truckers who are such an indispensable part of keeping our supply chains going — if they’re not safe or not able to park in an area that makes sense.
“Even if you’re not involved in trucking directly, I think most drivers who spend time on the interstate see, where trucks are backed up on a ramp or other places, that shows you how this is a problem.”
The American Transportation Research Institute ranked inadequate access to parking third on its “Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry” list in 2022.
The bill’s consideration comes as the White House is touting the implementation of 2021’s bipartisan infrastructure law. With stakeholders renewing calls for federal funds, the White House this month pointed to economic benefits associated with the infrastructure law.
“To date, over 20,000 projects have been awarded funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law,” the White House announced this month. “They range from repaving roads and water system upgrades funded through formula grants to states, to competitive funding for massive bridge and transit projects.”
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act approved nearly $600 billion for surface transportation programs.
The Week Ahead (all times Eastern)
May 23, 10 a.m.: The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee considers myriad supply chain bills. The measures scheduled for a vote include:
- Ocean Shipping Reform Implementation Act
- U.S. Supply Chain Security Review Act
- Save Our Seas 2.0 Amendments Act
- Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act
- Licensing Individual Commercial Exam-takers Now Safely and Efficiently Act
- Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy Safe Integrity Act
- Supply Chain Improvement Act
- Motor Carrier Safety Selection Standard Act
- Intelligent Transportation Integration Act
- Carrying Automobiles Responsibly and Safely Act
- Disaster Survivors Fairness Act
May 23, 10:30 a.m.: The House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee meets for a hearing titled, “Growing the Domestic Energy Sector Supply Chain and Manufacturing Base: Are Federal Efforts Working?” Watch the hearing here.
May 24, 10 a.m.: The House Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee meets for a hearing titled, “Never Ending Emergencies — An Examination of the National Emergencies Act.” Witnesses include Soren Dayton, director of governance at the Niskanen Center; Satya Thallam, policy adviser at Arnold & Porter; and Elizabeth Goitein, senior director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.
When it comes to an infrastructure outlook, Facebook is keeping it meta.
A coalition of several dozen groups gathered in the nation’s capital to draw attention to supply chain projects in need of federal support, calling on policymakers to approve long-term funding as well as reform the federal permitting process.
The Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors is pressing for further attention to projects that could be advanced with funding from the $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure law President Joe Biden signed in November 2021. About five dozen freight projects would be enhanced by additional federal-level funding, the coalition indicated in a report titled “Freight Can’t Wait.”
Projects include the ExpressRail Elizabeth Southbound Connector by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Interstate 710 South Zero Emission Truck Program by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
High-level talks continue between the White House and congressional leaders on debt ceiling negotiations. Lawmakers central to those negotiations have signaled the potential for arriving at a deal prior to June 1. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen indicated the federal government’s borrowing limit is estimated to be reached by that deadline. “Bipartisanship was the key to averting default under President [Donald] Trump, it has been the key to averting default under President [Joe] Biden, and it will be the key to averting default before June 1,” Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said May 17.
Paul Ryan receives the congressional portrait treatment.
From Infrastructure Week to 10 Years of Infrastructure.
Happy #InfrastructureWeek!@TransportDems are working to oversee the implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to create cleaner, greener, safer and more accessible transportation systems to help Americans and communities thrive. pic.twitter.com/hm7HnPyJGL — Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (@TransportDems) May 18, 2023
The Last Word
The thought that someone would take advantage of my staff’s accessibility to commit an act of violence is unconscionable and devastating.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) on May 15Image
The next Capitol Agenda will appear June 19. We publish Mondays when Congress is in session. See previous installments of Capitol Agenda here. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with tips. Follow us @eugenemulero and @transporttopics.
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