Logistics Weekly

Ahead of the Curve: New Congress Sworn In

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Washington – January 3, 2019 - The 116th Congress, sworn in today, has a long list of action items, which will affect the logistics industry.

New polling by POLITICO and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health shows that increasing infrastructure spending is one of the top priorities for Americans for the 116th Congress: 79 percent of those polled said it's "extremely important," falling just behind lowering prescription drug prices and substantially reducing the federal deficit on the list of issues polled. Infrastructure spending ranks high for both parties, with 88 percent of Democrats and 81 percent of Republicans surveyed calling it "extremely important."

In an interview, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Or) the expected incoming Democratic chair of the House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said he believed that the House would be able to deliver a significant infrastructure package by June. The bill would probably include service transportation, harbor maintenance and improvements for US waste water and drinking water.

Which is good news for the transportation industry.

“I think we have a window of opportunity to get this done,” said Ed Mortimer, vice-president of transportation and infrastructure at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “I think this is the best shot we’ve had in some time.”

Other concerns among TIA members is getting outdated legislation shelved in favor of needed regulations.

“My main concern from the perspective of our business is getting the National Hiring Standard passed and signed into law, and my second most urgent concern is favorable changes being made to the HOS laws,” said TIA member Heath Holbert, Vice President of 3 Rivers Logistics, Inc. in Gillett, AR.

And some TIA members are worried that the new Congress might put in changes that will stall the economy.

“The general economy is what has typically driven our customers' successes or declines, said TIA member Bryan Fary, Vice President of ABC Logistics, Inc. in Archdale, NC. “This fall has certainly been slower than expected after the booming start to the year.”

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