Leading trucking association calls for a bipartisan bill to support nation’s economic recovery
Arlington, Va. – As the House of Representatives begins floor debate this week on the Invest in America Act, American Trucking Associations is voicing strong support for the bill’s framework, and urges lawmakers in both chambers to rise above the partisan divide and create a path forward for a responsibly funded infrastructure bill.
“Coming off one of the worst economic crises in our nation’s history, it’s time for Congress to pave the way for the great American comeback. An injection of real capital into our degraded infrastructure will jumpstart the economy—creating hundreds of thousands of good-paying, private-sector jobs in blue-collar trades—and strengthen its commercial arteries to support long-term growth.” said American Trucking Associations Executive Vice President for Advocacy Bill Sullivan.
“Given the looming shortfalls to the Highway Trust Fund and the decimation of state and local budgets caused by COVID-19, major construction projects across the country have been put on hold, threating to exacerbate the unemployment crisis and placing added strain on our nation’s supply chain,” Sullivan said. “By passing a bill with real money – rather than saddling our grandchildren with more debt or borrowing money from China – Congress can ensure that an infrastructure investment accelerates our economic recovery.”
While ATA is a strong supporter of the overarching goal of the legislation, Sullivan noted the ATA’s opposition to an amendment offered by Rep. Jesús Garcia last week to arbitrarily raise minimum insurance requirement limits on commercial vehicles.
“This language was written by trial lawyers, supported by trial lawyers and, to no surprise, benefits trial lawyers,” said Sullivan. “This new $2 million cap was arbitrarily plucked out of thin air by the American Association of Justice and aside from lining the pockets of AAJ members, it lacks relevant data. If a change to the minimum insurance cap is to be made, it must reflect the direct input of the trucking industry and be based on actuarial data - not special interest pandering. If the Senate and Congress want to get this right, they must pursue a fair, data- and stake-holder driven process to determine appropriate levels and their impact on safety and economic outcomes. ATA will work to improve the bill, including a fix to the minimum insurance cap that is inclusive of the regulated industry and data-driven.”
“Again, we urge Members on both sides of the Capitol to rise above partisanship and find a path forward on legislation that will both fix our nation’s roads and create badly needed jobs,” said Sullivan.