After weeks of debate, the United States Senate passed a massive infrastructure spending bill with several provisions that could have a huge impact on the trucking industry.
By a 69-30 vote, the Senate passed a bi-partisan infrastructure bill designed to bolster the nation’s highways, bridges, railways, and water systems on Tuesday.
Approximately $110 billion will be set aside for infrastructure work while the rest of the funding will go to public transit, railroads, ports, airports, and broadband.
For members of the trucking industry, the bill contained (and omitted) several provisions that could have a massive impact on trucking in coming years.
- NO Truck Parking Funding. While groups like OOIDA pushed for the inclusion of a provision to provide funding to create more safe trucking parking, the final version of the Senate bill provides $0 specifically for truck parking.
- NO Increase to Minimum Insurance Requirements for Motor Carriers. The Senate bill does not include a controversial measure to increase the minimum insurance requirement for motor carriers from $750,000 to $2 million.
- A Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Pilot Program. The Senate bill will push forward a pilot program to study the implementation of a VMT tax on both commercial and passenger vehicles.
- Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) Required. The bill would require all new commercial vehicles to come equipped with AEB technology within two years.
- “Apprenticeship Pilot Program” for Teen Truckers. The Senate bill includes a pilot program to study the deployment of under 21 truckers in interstate commerce.
- Truck Leasing Task Force. The bill would create a task force to study leasing agreements and to combat predatory lease-purchase programs.
- Women in Trucking. The bill would create a Women of Trucking Advisory Board to encourage more women to enter the trucking industry.
The bill now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives, which remains in recess until September 20.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that she will not pass the infrastructure bill without the passage of a separate $3.5 trillion bill focused on poverty, health care, and climate change.
You can view the full 2,700 page text of the Senate bill here.