A trucking family
Illinois Congressman grew up in trucking
For Rep. Mike Bost, trucking was a big part of his childhood.
“I drove my first tractor-trailer across the lot at 9 years old,” the Illinois Congressman told Land Line Now’s Mary McKenna. “I drove my first end loader into the side of the garage at age 6. When you grow up in the business, it’s just part of it.”
Bost’s grandfather started Bost Truck Service in the 1930s. As Bost grew up, he was immersed in the business. Later, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and then returned to trucking in 1982.
He worked at Bost Truck Service for 13 years as a driver and truck manager.
“When I turned 16, you could get a tractor-trailer license in the state of Illinois if you were working for family or a family farm,” he said. “I drove trucks from age 16 on. I worked there and then went on to the Marine Corps. When I came back, I was dropped into the chair where my father had been to dispatch during the day and working on trucks when I wasn’t coordinating loads. Often, I would drive at night.
“It was hard work, but I did it with my family. My brother and cousin still own the business.”
Bost has also served as a firefighter for the Murphysboro (Ill.) Fire Department.
In 1995, Bost became a member of the Illinois House of Representatives and served in that role for 20 years. In 2015, the Republican was elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives for Illinois’ 12th congressional district.
Bost said that looking out for small businesses is a big focus for him.
“When you come from small business and grow up in a family, you know that government will always seek to overregulate,” he said. “Over the past two years, we’ve been able to reduce a tremendous amount of regulation. That and the tax reform bill are why you’ve seen a tremendous amount of job growth.”
Among the bills Bost has sponsored during this session include amending the Agricultural Act of 1961 to modify the limitations applicable to qualified conservation loan guarantees, and the VA Cost Savings Enhancement Act.
He serves on committees for Transportation and Infrastructure, Agriculture and Veterans’ Affairs.
Bost noted that infrastructure is a huge topic for the 116th Congress. It is estimated that $2 trillion is needed to repair the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges. As vehicles become more fuel efficient, lawmakers will try to find a way to fund infrastructure beyond a fuel tax.
“When the interstate highway system was built and the motor fuel tax came into place, the tax was generating enough to not only maintain but build the system,” Bost said. “The reason it was able to work is because cars got 5 miles per gallon and trucks got less than 1. Today, we have vehicles that have high fuel efficiency and trucks are getting fuel efficiency that I would have never believed when I was in the industry.
“We have hybrid and electric cars that are still wearing out the roads. We have to come up with a sensible revenue stream that makes sure all users are actually providing the revenues to make sure the roads are maintained and improved upon. However we figure out how to do it, we need to make sure the money never goes to nonhighway projects.”
Bost said his trucking background has provided him some insight into the trucking industry’s problem with the federal hours-of-service regulations. He said the regulations allow little to no flexibility and that they exacerbate the lack of truck parking in the country.
“We need to listen to the people who are in the trucks every day,” he said. “The one problem that you see in D.C. is that you have a tremendous amount of people on these committees who have no clue about what they are trying to regulate.
“The problem is that it removes common sense. We have to bring common sense back in to these hours of service.” LL