Watch OOIDA’s Pugh testify at House T&I hearing

February 1, 2021

Mark Schremmer

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The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee wants to know what steps should be taken to help the transportation industry continue to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Protecting Transportation Workers and Passengers From COVID: Gaps in Safety, Lessons Learned, and Next Steps” will be conducted virtually at 11 a.m. Eastern on Thursday, Feb. 4.

OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh will serve among six witnesses at the hearing.

You can watch the hearing by going to the T&I Committee website.

The hearing also can be viewed by clicking on the video player below.

T&I Committee witness list

  • David Michaels, professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at George Washington University.
  • Sara Nelson, international president of Association of Flight Attendants.
  • Lewie Pugh, OOIDA executive vice president
  • Ismael Rivera, bus operator for Lynx and member of Amalgamated Transit Union.
  • William P. Bahnfleth, professor of architectural engineering at Pennsylvania State University.
  • Joe Buscaino, member of the Los Angeles City Council and past president of the National League of Cities.

Pugh said last week that he wants lawmakers to provide tangible relief to the truck drivers who have been keeping America moving during this crisis.

“It’s an honor to represent the hardworking men and women who drive trucks every day to keep American rolling,” Pugh said. “Truckers face countless obstacles, both during and pre-COVID. While FMCSA and FHWA both stepped up to provide relief, Congress was pushing more costly mandates, including a massive cost increase for insurance. You can’t refer to truckers as heroes while simultaneously trying to put them out of business. It just doesn’t work that way.”

Pugh’s Senate testimony

The T&I Committee hearing will come on the one-year anniversary of when Pugh testified at the Senate’s Transportation and Safety Subcommittee hearing to discuss stakeholder perspectives on trucking in America.

 

Speaking on behalf of truck drivers, Pugh delivered a series of “truth bombs” about the state of the trucking industry. He called the current state of trucking “dysfunctional,” and called out regulations that don’t improve safety, enforcement motivated by profits, and drivers being forced to contend with long hours and “notoriously low pay.”

“From the perspective of small-business motor carriers and professional drivers, the state of the trucking industry is dysfunctional,” Pugh said. “This is because too many people who know virtually nothing about trucking have an oversized role in shaping trucking policy. Drivers feel the negative effects of this firsthand, myself included.”

Pugh, who became a member of OOIDA in 1996 and worked as a commercial truck driver for 23 years with 2.5 million safe miles, came off the road in 2017 to start working at OOIDA headquarters. LL

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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.