House Rules Committee fails to move Bost amendment forward

June 30, 2020

Mark Schremmer

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The House Rules Committee did not select an amendment aimed at stopping motor carriers’ minimum insurance requirements from increasing to be voted on later this week.

Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., proposed Amendment 194 to strike the highway bill’s Section 4408, which would increase minimum insurance levels for motor carriers from $750,000 to $2 million.

OOIDA, along with more than 50 other organizations, supported Bost’s amendment to remove the increase from HR2.

“We’re disappointed House Democrats continue to prioritize increasing trial lawyer payouts over protecting the businesses and livelihoods of American truckers,” said Collin Long, OOIDA’s director of government affairs. “While the House will not vote on the Bost amendment and HR2 will likely pass with a provision to dramatically increase truckers’ insurance rates, our fight is far from over.”

Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill.
An amendment to the highway bill from Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., would remove a provision to increase the minimum insurance requirements for motor carriers. OOIDA supports Bost Amendment 194.

The highway bill was rolled into the partisan $1.5 trillion Moving Forward Act, which will receive resistance from the Republican-controlled Senate.

Still, OOIDA is working to ensure that an increase to the minimum insurance isn’t attached to any final version of a highway bill.

In a letter sent to the leaders of the House Rules Committee on June 29, OOIDA and other coalition members – including the American Dairy Coalition, the United Fresh Produce Association and numerous state trucking associations – said the increase would be devastating to small businesses.

“This 167% increase would apply to all businesses transporting property, not just long-haul trucking operations,” the coalition letter stated. “Its impact would be felt in many sectors of our economy that are currently working to help our nation recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, including trucking, agriculture and the materials industries. More than doubling insurance rates for businesses engaged in trucking in the midst of an economic downturn will undoubtedly lead to the loss of even more jobs.

“Section 4408 does not belong in legislation that is designed to support economic recovery and encourage growth.”

OOIDA refers to Section 4408 as the “poison pill” that led the Association to withdraw its support of the highway bill. The Association said the amendment proposed by Rep. Chuy Garcia, D-Ill., during a House markup hearing earlier this month would actually decrease highway safety by forcing many of the safest and most experienced truckers out of business.

Universal electronic vehicle identifier

While the Bost amendment will not be voted on, the House Rules Committee selected Amendment 59 to receive a full House vote.

The amendment by Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., directs the Secretary of Transportation to issue a vehicle safety standard to require that new commercial motor vehicles are equipped with a universal electronic vehicle identifier.

If passed into law, the provision would be required to go into effect within two years. According to the amendment, the equipment would need to identify the vehicle to roadside inspectors for enforcement purposes, while not transmitting personal identifiable information regarding operators, and while not creating an undue cost burden for operators and carriers.

OOIDA opposes the amendment.

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.