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Congress Reintroduces Bipartisan Bill to Lower Driving Age for Truckers

 

During the week of February 25, Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Jon Tester (D-MT) reintroduced the bipartisan “Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy Act,” also known as the “DRIVE-Safe Act,” and Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN) reintroduced a companion bill in the House. The bill would allow drivers 18 and older to operate across state lines if they meet rigorous training requirements. The training requirements would include at least 400 hours of on-duty time with 240 hours of driving time with an experienced driver training them. Training would also be restricted to trucks equipped with active braking systems, video monitoring systems and speed limiters set to 65 mph or slower.

Also, that week, House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), the Ranking Member on the Environment and Public Works Committee announced their support for an increase in the federal motor fuels tax to support the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) in the short-term while Congress determines how to pay for the nation’s infrastructure. A new surface transportation authorization bill, which authorizes the HTF fund, must be passed before the current law expires September 30, 2020.

Chairman DeFazio has called on Congress to bring back earmarks, which he refers to as “Article I projects” bringing back congressional ability to request funding for specific projects in their states or districts. "Why shouldn't elected representatives, through a transparent process, be able to spend a small amount of money, bring it home, and show people what they're going to get for a small increase in their gas tax?" Earmarks have been banned since 2011 and will require leadership to allow for them again.

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