America’s trucking industry values strong allies in Congress. As the core engine of interstate commerce, operating across all 50 states, we depend on legislators at the federal level who empower truckers to keep the economy's supply chain moving safely and efficiently.
U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming is one of those champions. Following four successful terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, Senator Lummis has now hit the ground running in the U.S. Senate—fighting for the interest of truckers throughout her state and beyond.
Wyoming is home to more than 2,160 motor carriers, employing over 19,000 people – or one out of every 11 jobs in the state. These professionals move nearly 93% of all manufactured goods in the Cowboy State, totaling 16,740 tons every day. Modern-day truckers have been called America’s “last cowboys,” and Wyoming truckers certainly meet that description. They’re not only critical to the state’s economy, but they also help connect markets on the West Coast to the Midwest and Eastern United States.
Just this week, Senator Lummis introduced the Licensing Individual Commercial Exam-takers Now Safely and Efficiently (LICENSE) Act, which would make permanent several waivers issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These waivers streamline the commercial driver’s license application process, removing unnecessary red tape at a time when our supply chain is in urgent need of more truck drivers.
Senator Lummis has also been a leader on the issue of truck parking. A nationwide shortage of commercial truck parking is adding additional strain to the supply chain, as drivers lose productive time searching for safe parking spots. This also presents a growing safety hazard for all motorists, as strict federal Hours-of-Service rules often force drivers to park on highway shoulders, on-and-off ramps, and other unauthorized locations when no alternatives are available.
Senator Lummis has used her position on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee to raise awareness and offer solutions. When Congress negotiated the bipartisan infrastructure bill last August, she spearheaded an amendment to earmark $1 billion to boost truck parking capacity across the country. Although procedural disputes in the Senate prevented that amendment from advancing, her leadership demonstrated that truckers have a champion in Congress willing to fight for them until the issue is solved.
“We appreciate how engaged Senator Lummis has been on our issues. She’s a quick study – in no time, she learned the challenges facing motor carriers and began working immediately to identify legislative vehicles to help solve these problems,” said Chris Spear, president and CEO of American Trucking Associations.
“The COVID pandemic was an awakening for many Americans as to how essential truckers are in our daily lives,” said Sheila Foertsch, managing director of the Wyoming Trucking Association. “It’s imperative we have representatives in Congress who understand that as well, and, fortunately for Wyoming, we have that in Senator Lummis.”
On behalf of a grateful industry, we thank Senator Lummis for being a champion for trucking.
Q & A with Senator Lummis
What do you appreciate most about the trucking industry?
"They quite literally keep our nation and our economy running. They leave their families for days on end to ensure that Americans across the country have the goods they need."
What role do truckers play in the local Wyoming economy?
"The trucking industry plays a huge role in Wyoming. Not only do truckers bring us the goods we need every day, they transport our wealth of mineral resources, from coal to trona as well as the equipment needed to mine those minerals. They are an essential part of our economy."
If you could describe Wyoming truckers in one word, what would it be?
"Gritty. If you know anything about Wyoming, you know that our roads are no joke – especially in the winter. You have to be a skilled and careful driver to navigate our state safely. It’s not for the faint of heart."
How can elected officials better support the men and women of trucking?
"We need to listen first. Government so often acts without getting the full picture of what an industry actually needs."
If you were a trucker, what song would top your long-haul playlist?
"Any song by Garth Brooks."