ABMA met with the office of Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) to discuss the Senator’s interest in leading the Employer-Directed Skills Act in the upper chamber. The legislation is one of ABMA’s legislative priorities as it would leverage private sector investment in workforce development (WFD) and align efforts to reskill the workforce to better match the specific needs of employers. The bill is already pending in the House, but its prospects for ultimately becoming enacted are improved considerably if there is companion legislation in the Senate that has bipartisan support. To that end, Senator Scott and his staff are enthusiastic about this measure and are actively seeking a Democrat cosponsor prior to introducing the companion bill. ABMA is working with Senate Democrat offices in hopes of soon securing a Democrat co-lead. Our goal is to build bipartisan support for the measure so that it will be a strong candidate for inclusion in more comprehensive legislation reauthorizing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Efforts to reauthorize WIOA fell apart this year, but it is expected that reauthorizing WIOA will be a priority in the next Congress.
Democrat Senators on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee are our priorities as this is the committee to which the bill would be referred. However, Senator John Ossoff (D-GA) has worked with Senator Scott on other issues and we intend to approach Senator Ossoff’s staff and gauge his interest in the bill. We will keep you regularly apprised of our progress.
ABMA visited with staff for Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) to discuss a path forward for her legislation, the Licensing Individual Commercial Exam-Takers Now Safely and Efficiently (LICENSE) Act. This bill is another of ABMA’s policy priorities, as it would extend a couple of waivers that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued during the course of the pandemic to facilitate commercial drivers license (CDL) issuance. Those waivers are set to expire at the end of August, and while we believe they will be extended by the Administration, the permanence this bill would offers is important.
Enactment of this proposal this year is facing some headwinds as highway safety groups are opposing the measure as is organized labor. However, the bill has bipartisan support in the Senate as does companion legislation in the House. ABMA will continue to seek cosponsors to the measure and work with allied groups to address highway safety concerns with the bill that were raised when it was considered in the Senate Commerce Committee earlier this year. On another of our transportation priorities, ABMA met with Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s (D-VA) team to discuss her bill to provide refundable tax credits to truck drivers and those that are interested in becoming a truck driver. The Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act (H.R. 7348) authorizes a $7,500 tax credit for current CDL holders and a $10,000 credit for new truck drivers or those that are enrolled in a trucking apprenticeship program. Spanberger’s team has had conversations with the House Ways and Means Committee staff that have expressed concern about the ability to implement this tax credit if it were enacted. Committee staff are concerned that the IRS simply does not have the data to properly administer this credit, which could lead to fraud and other problems. ABMA is following up with Ways and Means staff to further discuss this proposal and better understand their concerns.