$3.5 trillion for infrastructure and not one cent for “the main trucker problem”

September 18, 20210

On Tuesday, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee rejected an amendment that would provide $ 1 billion for the construction of truck parking lots.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which has been pushing for the law for the past two years, accused Democrats of failing to fund the construction of parking lots. Ironically, the vote took place during National Truck Driver Recognition Week.

“Despite the long history of broad, bipartisan support, numerous government studies and repeated pleas from truck drivers, Democrats on the T&I Committee opposed efforts to address trucking’s number one safety concern: the lack of safe parking,” commented OOIDA President and CEO Todd Spencer.

 “Truckers likely face another five years of a worsening crisis that jeopardizes their safety on a daily basis.”

Spencer also said that addressing the parking shortage supports efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the transport sector – a main goal of the legislation. Truck drivers spend about 56 minutes a day looking for parking while wasting fuel.

“It’s tough to swallow the fact that in a year when Congress is authorizing hundreds of billions of dollars for infrastructure projects and highway safety programs, not a single penny was set aside for truck parking,” he added.

A similar amendment failed to make it into the bipartisan, $1.2 trillion so-called “hard infrastructure” package passed by the Senate in August.

Despite the loss for truck parking in the reconciliation bill, the House T&I Committee’s 15-hour markup session did result in nearly $60 billion aimed at cutting pollution and promoting transportation projects, including:

  • $6 billion to advance local surface transportation projects.
  • $4 billion for reduction of carbon pollution in the surface transportation sector.
  • $2.5 billion to the Federal Maritime Administration to support more sustainable port infrastructure and supply chain resilience.
  • $1 billion for climate-resilient Coast Guard infrastructure.

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