ABMA’s First Meeting of 2023

This morning, the ABMA Committee had its first meeting of 2023. They received an update on the 118th Congress from our Gov. Affairs Consultant and discussed Advocacy Day.

Congressional Update

Pat Rita, the ABMA Gov. Affairs Consultant, gave an update on our priorities. He has been discussing priority bills with their sponsors and plans for action in reintroducing these bills are being put into place. Plans for Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY21) to reintroduce the Employer Directed Skills Act are in the works; and the Strengthen Supply Chains Through Truck Drivers Incentives Act, sponsored by Rep. Abigail Davis Spanberger (D-VA7), will be reintroduced in the next few weeks.

Some changes are being made to the LICENSE Act which sponsors believe could help the bill gain more support and ultimately pass through congress. Due to some concerns about lack of supervision, the sponsors, Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL18) and Sen. Cynthia M. Lummis (R-WY), are removing the provision whereby commercial learners permit (CLP) holders can drive with a licensed CDL driver anywhere in the cab instead of only up front.

Every newly elected member of Congress (over 70) received a congratulatory letter from ABMA Chair and Vice Chair, Joe Cecarelli and Ida Ross Hicks, introducing ABMA and our priorities to them as they begin their service in Congress. We have already gotten replies from many offices wanting to meet with ABMA and learn more about our industry and priorities.

Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA)

ABMA continues to work on getting the US and Canada to the table to negotiate a new SLA. Part of that strategy is a congressional letter spearheaded by our supporters in Congress, including Sen. Susan Collins (ME). ABMA is working with her and her staff on a congressional letter to be sent to the US Trade Representative pushing for a new SLA.

Advocacy Day, March 22-24

Registrations for our in-person Advocacy Day keep rolling in. Chair Joe Cecarelli explained how valuable these meetings are and how he is excited about being back in D.C. again after a few years of virtual meetings. You can register for the event on the ABMA website, and don’t forget to book your hotel room before February 17th.