The White House on June 1 announced that it would veto a fiscal 2016 transportation funding bill, citing concerns over its funding levels and objections over several trucking provisions.
The White House and several Democrats have been critical of provisions in the bill, including one that would require that before FMCSA’s 34-hour restart rule is reinstated, a study must be conducted addressing whether the restart rule has safety benefits and would be better for drivers in terms of fatigue, health and work schedules. The legislation also would permit the use of twin 33-foot trailers.
The bill “would undermine the administration's existing regulatory work to ensure appropriate standards for commercial truck drivers' rest,” according to the statement the Office of Management and Budget released. “The bill imposes criteria that would in all likelihood be impossible to meet, therefore preventing critical safety provisions from taking effect. This provision, combined with the troubling changes to truck size and weight limit, could significantly compromise safety on our nation's roads.”
On June 1, the House Rules Committee voted 9-3 to leave open the possibility to amend the bill when it is called up for floor debate.
Overall, the bill would provide $572 million for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the agency tasked to regulate the trucking industry.