Senate infrastructure bill fails to add truck parking amendment

August 9, 2021

Mark Schremmer

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The Senate is expected to pass its bipartisan infrastructure package soon, but the bill will not include any measures aimed at addressing the truck parking crisis.

An amendment introduced last week by Sens. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., and Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., did not make it into the bill. The bipartisan amendment would have ensured that states used federal funding to expand truck parking capacity. Specifically, the amendment would have required that at least 0.7% of the funding from the National Highway Performance Program be used for truck parking projects. The amendment was estimated to dedicate more than $1 billion to truck parking over the duration of the legislation.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association worked with lawmakers to get the amendment introduced.

“We’re extremely disappointed the Kelly/Lummis amendment to provide critical investment in truck parking projects was not accepted and will therefore not be a part of this bill,” said Collin Long, OOIDA’s director of government affairs. “It’s hard to imagine how a bipartisan proposal to address truckers’ top safety concern couldn’t muster enough support to be included in this package. Personally, I can’t understand why every senator didn’t view this amendment as a no-brainer. Truckers may like that Congress is finally investing serious money into our roads and bridges, but the absence of dedicated funding for truck parking in this bill is frankly outrageous.”

Senators voted Sunday night to end the debate on the infrastructure package, and a vote on the bill could come Tuesday, Aug. 10.

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. The bipartisan infrastructure package incorporates the Senate version of the highway bill.

The bill is expected to pass the Senate, but it could still take a while to reach President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law. The House is not scheduled to return until Sept. 20.

Senate highway bill

Although OOIDA opposes the Senate’s decision to not include truck parking funding, the Association favors the Senate highway bill over the House version.

The House highway bill included $1 billion in truck parking funding, but OOIDA labeled the overall legislation as “anti-trucker.” Most notably, the House version of the highway bill included a measure to increase truckers’ minimum insurance requirement from $750,000 to $2 million. LL

WW Williams

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.