House Appropriations Committee Moves Forward on Transportation, Housing Bill
The House Appropriations Committee marked up the Transportation Housing and Urban Development (THUD) bill on May 24. The bill authorizes $58.2 billion for FY 2017 to fund transportation and housing programs. Total discretionary spending for the Department of Transportation totals $19.2 billion.
The House bill contains two provisions that NRMCA advocated to have included because of their direct impact to the ready mixed concrete industry. The first is a fix to the 34-hour restart provision error from last year’s omnibus spending package. The provision continues the suspension of the 34-hour restart requirements until the congressionally-mandated Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) study is concluded. Specifically, the two requirements being suspended are the two off-duty periods between 1 - 5 a.m and the prohibition on using more than one restart during a consecutive 168-hour period. The second is a fix to halt the FMCSA from proceeding with the Safety Fitness Determination rulemaking until all reforms related to the Compliance, Safety and Accountability/Safety Measurement System (CSA/SMS) programs mandated by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) are completed.
The proposed new system would remove all the existing ratings and create only one rating, "Unfit". NRMCA believes a major concern with the proposal is that the new proposed methodology utilizes flawed CSA/SMS data and scores, which pursuant to the FAST Act, Congress has directed the agency to completely overhaul just two months ago. NRMCA supports the goal of an easily understandable, rational safety fitness determination system, but the recent rulemaking is built on a flawed foundation and must be fixed. An amendment submitted by Ranking Member David Price (D-NC) to strike both provisions failed to pass the full committee.