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FMCSA rest break rules protected in Appropriations Committee vote

Failed amendment keeps break rules as part of THUD bill

Posted June 6, 2019

The House Appropriations Committee approved the 2020 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) budget bill by a vote of 29 to 21 on Monday, June 4. The legislation funds the DOT and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, among other agencies.

The bill includes three riders that Reps. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) tried and failed to get removed from the bill. The riders would:

  • Prohibit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) from reviewing or preempting state meal- and rest-break rules that differ from federal regulations,
  • Prohibit the FMCSA from eliminating the 30-minute rest-break rule, and
  • Require the FMCSA to make public the Compliance, Safety, Accountability scores of motor carriers.

In addition to these provisions, other trucking highlights in the bill include:

  • The FMCSA would have to update its annual inspection regulations under Appendix G to require that rear underride guards be inspected annually, and
  • Funds could not be used to enforce the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate on drivers hauling livestock or insects, in continuation of a longstanding policy.

The Appropriations vote is a first step in the budget approval process, meaning further changes are possible going forward.

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