T&I Republicans critical of truck parking amendment defeat

September 21, 2021

Collin Long

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The Republican members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee are speaking out against partisan budget reconciliation recommendations passed last week. Criticisms from the Republicans include the defeat of an OOIDA-backed amendment that would have provided $1 billion in funding to address the truck parking crisis.

Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., on Sept. 14 introduced an amendment at the House T&I markup hearing that would have allocated $1 billion for projects that would increase truck parking capacity. The amendment failed in a partisan 36-29 vote.

“An important funding priority that supposedly has bipartisan support, providing truck parking, was not included in the majority’s recommendations,” T&I Republicans wrote in a letter signed by full committee ranking member Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., and six subcommittee ranking members. “This failure to improve safety by increasing parking spaces available to truckers is unconscionable. Time and again, truckers have delivered for Americans – safely, securely, and on time. But in order to continue to do their jobs, they need more places to safely park. Only one truck space is available for every 11 truckers.”

The allocation of $1 billion for truck parking was included in the House T&I’s original highway bill earlier this year, but Democrats opposed adding the funding into the budget reconciliation bill.

“While supporting truckers has been a bipartisan priority for this Committee, this support didn’t result in any funding for parking in the first reconciliation bill, in the COVID packages, or in the Senate infrastructure bill,” the House T&I Republicans wrote. “The majority found money to set new (greenhouse gas) performance standards, fund high-speed rail, and give transit $10 billion at a time when the Federal Transit Administration has already seen an historic level of federal funding over the last year and a half. Unfortunately, during the middle of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, the committee majority rejected offers to help America’s truckers.”

OOIDA President Todd Spencer also was critical of the inability to get truck parking funding in a time when truckers are hailed as heroes.

“It’s tough to swallow the fact that in a year when Congress is authorizing hundreds of billions of dollars for infrastructure projects and highway safety programs, not a single penny was set aside for truck parking,” Spencer said last week. LL

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Collin Long, president, truck parking crisis oped

Collin Long, director of government affairs, joined OOIDA’s Washington, D.C., office in 2016. Originally from Allentown, Pa., and graduated from Syracuse University with a B.A. in international relations.

He began his career in Washington as a staffer for U.S. Representative Charlie Dent, R-Pa. He subsequently served as senior director of government affairs for the Portland Cement Association (PCA), representing America’s cement manufacturers on Capitol Hill. During his time in D.C., Long has worked on a variety of transportation issues.