House moves budget forward, agrees to vote on infrastructure by Sept. 27
August 25, 2021
The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Tuesday, Aug. 24, to advance the blueprint of a $3.5 trillion budget resolution and committed to a Sept. 27 deadline to vote on a Senate-approved infrastructure bill.
The House passed the key procedural motion 220-212, making passage of the Senate’s version of the highway bill possible before the current surface reauthorization bill expires at the end of September.
Democrats have said they hope to finish working on a spending bill by Oct. 1. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said it will use the process as an opportunity to try to get dedicated funding to address the truck parking crisis across the nation.
“The vote now sets the stage for the reconciliation process to begin in both the House and Senate,” said Jay Grimes, OOIDA’s director of federal affairs. “This will be another opportunity for Congress to include dedicated funding to expand truck parking capacity. While a $3.5 trillion spending package is certainly excessive, OOIDA is not leaving any stone unturned in getting the necessary federal investment for parking this year. (Tuesday’s) vote also makes it likely that the Senate version of the Highway Bill will be enacted before the FAST Act expires on Sept. 30.”
Senate infrastructure bill
The Senate passed its bipartisan infrastructure bill, which incorporates the Senate version of the highway bill. The package includes $550 billion in new spending on roads, bridges, airports, ports, electric vehicle charging stations, internet, water systems, and other infrastructure needs. About $110 billion would go specifically toward roads and bridges.
The bill, however, failed to dedicate any money toward truck parking.
“Given how critical drivers are to our nation’s supply chain, it is extremely frustrating to see lawmakers continue to treat truckers as an afterthought,” OOIDA President Todd Spencer said earlier this month. “Truckers are routinely expected to simply be thankful for more highway funding and accept the fact all their unique needs are ignored time and time again.
“Years of inaction on addressing the lack of truck parking has created a nationwide crisis that threatens the safety of millions of professional drivers, and increasingly the motoring public.”
Spencer cited the decision not to include funding for truck parking as a major reason OOIDA did not support the bill.
OOIDA’s overview of the good and the bad in the Senate bill can be found here. LL