CONGRESS PASSES MAP-21 – TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZATION
Earlier today, the House and Senate passed the highway bill – dubbed MAP21. The bill now heads to the President’s desk for signature. It is a 27 month bill, running through the end of FY 2014. We are still reviewing the language and hope to have a summary to you shortly. However, we can say that a number of our priorities survived the deliberations.
- MCSAP grant programs remain largely unchanged and funding is essentially steady for FYs 2013 & 2014.
- The bill includes both a size and weight study and a study of exemptions from safety regulations, both CVSA requests.
- Language targeting reincarnated carriers was also included, which will help FMCSA better target these problematic entities.
- An industry-wide mandate for EOBRs (renamed electronic logging devices) was included, despite a HEAVY push from opponents, including OOIDA. The language includes a number of CVSA’s requests.
- Requirements advancing US/Canadian reciprocity were included.
- Several provisions improving motorcoach safety supported by CVSA were also included.
Unfortunately, the bill’s not all positive. There were a number of exemptions included in the bill, although several others did not survive. The Senate language providing additional flexibility for en route inspections of passenger carrier vehicles was removed. Improvements to the MCSAP grant programs were removed as well.
Our work is certainly not done, but we’ve made some real progress in this bill and have a strong foundation to build on as we move forward. We’ll provide a more comprehensive summary ASAP and are available to answer any questions you may have.
HOUSE TRANSPORTATION APPROPRIATIONS
In addition to passing the transportation bill, the House also voted on and approved the transportation appropriations (THUD) bill this afternoon. Funding levels and details can be found here, in the June 22 update. The only additional change made was an amendment that effectively cuts off funding for the EOBR rulemaking at FMCSA. CVSA will work with like minded organizations and Members to see that this provision is removed when the House and Senate conference the THUD appropriations bill.