President Obama said Tuesday that he would veto a $55 billion bill, partly based on safety objections to trucking regulatory changes in the bill.
The Republican bill, referred to as T-HUD, would fund both the DOT and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Democrats have slammed Republicans for adding non-budgetary trucking industry policy riders to the bill.
The Obama administration says that highway safety is a major reason that it plans to veto T-HUD. They say that the bill threatens public safety “by letting the trucking industry avoid truck size and weight limits and by preventing data-driven changes that would improve safety for all travelers by addressing truck driver fatigue (‘Hours of Service’) (sic).
One of the policy riders that the White House objects to most strongly would stop the administration from using federal money to help enforce the 34-hour restart rule that was implemented in July of 2013, but was then suspended by Congress late last year. This could extend the truck driver work week from 70 hours to a maximum of 82 hours.
The White House has also expressed concern about allowing Twin 33s on the road in all 50 states. They say that these longer trucks are harder to drive and have a worse safety record.