On July 30, a day before the Highway Trust Fund was set to expire, Congress passed a three month extension of funding for highway programs and a six year highway policy for trucking regulation reformation.
“This multi-year, bi-partisan legislation will give states and local governments the ability to plan for and construct critical infrastructure projects,” said Sen. John Thune, chairman of the committee that oversees trucking policy.
“We all share the same goal of completing a long term bill as soon as possible, and ensuring that critical programs do not shut down before we achieve that goal is the right thing to do,” added Rep. Bill Schuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
The legislation implements Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reform, applying to several programs. The Compliance, Safety and Accountability program public safety scores will be removed until further review. The bill paves the way for those between 18 and 21 to be commercial interstate drivers and also establishes a national freight program, boosting highway, public transportation, and passenger rail programs.
“Passage of a long-term bill is well overdue, and it is past time for Congress to provide states with the certainty they need to address the enormous backlog in critical highway and bridge improvements, “ said Bill Graves, president of American Trucking Associations.