FAST forward

Congress extends FAST Act for one year

November 2020

Mark Schremmer

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While commending Congress for passing a one-year extension of the FAST Act, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association also reminded lawmakers that there is a lot of work to be done for the trucking industry.

Congress passed an extension of 2015’s Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act as it was set to expire on Sept. 30. The bill was signed by President Donald Trump on Oct. 1.

Earlier in September, OOIDA was part of a coalition of 88 organizations requesting Congress to extend the surface transportation law for another year in order to maintain funding and stability as the United States copes with a pandemic.

On Oct. 1, OOIDA said that, while a one-year extension will help America’s economy continue to bounce back, plenty of work remains.

“We are nevertheless concerned about the continued push for changes that harm small-business truckers,” OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh said. “Efforts to increase insurance minimums will be vigorously challenged, and we are determined to see the shortage of safe truck parking addressed as part of a final, long-term reauthorization bill.”

As part of the Sept. 9 coalition letter, the groups asked Congress to pass legislation before Sept. 30 that included:

  • A turn-key, one-year extension of the current surface transportation law with increased investment levels.
  • Emergency federal funding for state departments of transportation ($37 billion) and public agencies ($32 billion).
  • Provisions to ensure solvency of the Highway Trust Fund for the duration of the extension at a minimum.

“Passing legislation that includes the aforementioned priorities would enable critical improvements that increase the safety and efficiency of the surface transportation system,” the letter stated. “This timely action by Congress would tangibly enhance the quality of life for all Americans and jumpstart America’s economic recovery.”

OOIDA said it will continue to work with industry stakeholders and lawmakers to promote efforts that support small-business truckers. LL

 

Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.