Infrastructure bill could see vote this weekend

August 4, 2021

Mark Schremmer


Hundreds of proposed amendments have created another hurdle for the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure package, but a vote could come as early as this weekend.

Nearly 300 amendments were introduced on Tuesday. According to CNBC, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he pledges to delay the chamber’s August recess until the bill passes.

The $1 trillion bill 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.

Last week, the Senate voted 67-32 in favor of a procedural measure to move forward with the bill, which incorporates the Senate version of the highway bill.

Although the abundance of proposed amendments has slowed the pace, the bill still appears poised to pass the Senate as 60 votes are needed.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association favors the Senate version of the highway bill, because it doesn’t include the House version’s “poison pill” measure to increase motor carriers’ minimum insurance requirement from $750,000 to $2 million.

To improve the bill, OOIDA would like to see an amendment to provide $1 billion for truck parking. The Association is asking truckers to reach out to their lawmakers about the truck parking crisis.

Amendments to the Senate infrastructure bill

Several of the proposed amendments involve trucking. One would remove a pilot program for 18- to 20-year-olds in interstate commerce, while another would lower the interstate driving age to 18.

Other amendments would equip trucks with a “universal identifier,” remove a national mileage tax pilot program from the bill, and waive vehicle weight limits for certain logging vehicles.

None of the aforementioned amendments appear likely to make it in the bill. LL