Rep. Crawford Introduces Legislation to Address Supply Chain Shortcomings

May 17, 2023
Press
Uncategorized
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sara Robertson (Sara.Robertson2@mail.house.gov)

Rep. Crawford Introduces Legislation to Address Supply Chain Shortcomings

– Bills Expected to be Included in May 23rd Full Committee Markup Package –

5/17/2023

Washington – Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-01) is rolling out four bills this week to improve supply chain problems that reduce economic growth and contribute to inflation. Crawford, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is working to include these bills in a broad supply chain package being developed by the Committee and marked up on May 23rd.

“Since the new Congress was sworn in, we have held several hearings to learn directly from stakeholders where our supply chain falls short,” said Rep. Crawford. “These bills address important elements of these concerns and offer solutions that will improve how goods move throughout the nation for years to come. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to develop a robust package that will strengthen and expand our supply chain by removing barriers, improving efficiency, and directing investment.” 

The bills Rep. Crawford introduced are:

DRIVE SAFE Integrity Act

o  Expresses support for 18 to 20-year-old Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s (IIJA) three-year pilot program to allow these drivers to work across state lines. 

o  Directs the Secretary of Transportation to move forward with regulations to allow 18 to 20-year-old CMV drivers to operate across state lines if the data does not demonstrate that those in the IIJA pilot program drive less safely than other CMV drivers.

“With so many goods being transported by trucks in the United States, there is a clear and present need to get the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program back on track. The DRIVE SAFE Integrity Act will streamline new careers for young, professional truckers and enable more trade and commerce to flow across South Texas and our country,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28), a Cosponsor of the bill. “I applaud my colleague, Congressman Crawford, for working with me across the aisle to make crucial investments in recruiting the next generation of American truckers.”

“Building a 21st century supply chain requires a strong, vibrant, and growing trucking workforce,” said Chris Spear, President and CEO of the American Trucking Associations. “The DRIVE Safe Integrity Act will bolster new career pathways into interstate trucking while promoting safety and training standards that far exceed the bar set by states today. Congressmen Crawford and Cuellar’s legislation offers a timely and essential trucking workforce and supply chain solution, built off years of broad bipartisan Congressional support. By directing DOT to steer the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program back to the course Congress originally intended, and providing a path forward to a new trucking workforce to safely enter the industry, this bill will ensure that trucking has the talent it needs to meet the economy’s growing freight demands in the years to come. We thank Representatives Crawford and Cuellar for their outstanding leadership.”     

“The last three years have proven just how important truck drivers are to the American economy and way of life, and how urgently we need to develop a pipeline of qualified, well-trained professional drivers to meet our nation’s growing freight needs,” said Mark S. Allen, President and CEO of the International Foodservice Distributors Association. “Strengthening the ability of younger drivers to receive rigorous training and safely enter the trucking workforce will help fill this pipeline, and we thank Representatives Crawford and Cuellar for their bipartisan leadership in addressing this issue.”

One Federal Decision for All Act

o  Streamlines the approval process for infrastructure projects by consolidating the environmental review process among various government agencies.

o  This process currently applies to highway projects, but this bill would expand the current law to port, aviation, and pipeline projects.

10% Axle Variance for Dry Bulk

o  Addresses the issue of dry bulk, such as flour, that shifts in route, thereby potentially putting the truck out of compliance with current weight-per-axle regulations. The bill would allow a variance of 10% per axel. 

“Strengthening our supply chains requires a range of solutions – but few are as commonsense as making sure we’re allowing for the realities of basic physics,” said Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24), a Cosponsor of the bill. “Providing this variance standard would ensure that while trucks are still meeting safe weight limits, they are also given the flexibility to transport critical goods across our nation. I am glad to reach across the aisle with Rep. Crawford to introduce this bipartisan fix, which will not only provide important relief to our carriers, but also reduce congestion and boost productivity in America’s agriculture, manufacturing, and other industries.”

“NTTC applauds the House of Representatives, particularly Congressman Crawford as Sponsor and Congressman Carbajal as Cosponsor, on the introduction of H.R. 3318 to establish an axle weight variance for dry bulk transportation,” said Ryan Streblow, President & CEO of the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC). “Today’s dry bulk commercial vehicles are underfilled to account for content shift during transit, which means less efficiency, more trucks on the road adding highway wear and tear, and increased costs to the American people. Thanks to H.R. 3318, a bipartisan and common-sense solution, tank trucks hauling essential goods like flour and grain can be granted an axle weight variance to maximize their loads while remaining within current federal weight guidelines. NTTC is grateful for this initiative, as the American public will benefit from a more efficient transportation system.” 

Rolling Stock Protection Act

Closes loopholes that have allowed public transportation agencies to use federal funds to purchase rolling stock (locomotives, freight cars, and other railroad vehicles) from State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), including a Chinese-controlled manufacturer.

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