The ABMA Legislative Committee met on May 26th. The committee strategized on how to build additional support for the legislative priorities discussed during Advocacy Week in April.
The Employer Directed Skills Act (HR 6255) sponsored by Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) would empower employers to determine the skills their workforce needs, streamline the process for workers to access skills development, and leverage private sector investments to make employers a stakeholder in the reskilling process. During Advocacy Week, Representative Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) signed onto the bill. Six other legislators also stated they will sign on to the bill. ABMA staff is following up on those commitments. If progress is not made, ABMA members will be asked to assist.
The License Act (HR 6567/S.3556) co-sponsored by Representative Darin LaHood (R-IL) with Senate sponsor Sen. Cynthis Lummis (WY) would streamline the process of obtaining CDL Licenses as was done via a temporary order during COVID. Two additional sponsors have signed on to date. They are Rep. Andrew Garbarino R-NY (R-NY) and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY). Nine other legislators have expressed support for the bill. ABMA staff is following up on those commitments. If progress is not made, members will be asked to assist.
The Informed Lawmaking to Combat Inflation Act (HR 6629) sponsored by Rep. John Katko (R-NY) requires Congress to thoroughly consider the inflationary impact of significant bills before voting on the measures. Three sponsors signed on: Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-Ok), original co-sponsor; Rep. Eric “Rick” Crawford (R-AR); and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY). Seven other legislators also expressed support. During advocacy week several legislators expressed concern about the ability of the Congressional Budget Office to predict the inflationary impact on legislation due to the fact that inflation is impacted by worldwide events. As a result of this concern being voiced, and the fact that the bill sponsor John Katko will retire this year, the committee unanimously voted to drop the issue as a legislative priority. This legislative priority will be replaced with the Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act (HR 7348).
The Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act sponsored by Rep. Abigale Stanburger (D-VA moderate suburban democrat) creates a 2-year refundable tax incentive of up to $7500 for truck drivers. Drivers must drive at least 1900 hours in a year. The bill also provides up to a $10k tax incentive for new truck drivers. There is a shortage of 80,000 drivers. The median age of drivers is 51-52.
The ABMA’s advocacy on these bills will be supplemented with yard tours and district office visits during the summer and fall.