House Narrowly Passes Spending Bill Keeping Restart Suspension

A major spending bill containing several provisions of importance to the trucking industry, including a continuation of the 34-hour restart suspension, narrowly passed the U.S. House late Tuesday night, but it still has to pass the Senate and faces a possible veto.

Lawmakers approved the $55.3 billion spending bill for fiscal year 2016 by a 216-210 margin. The Senate must pass its own version of the bill, and then any differences must be ironed out between the two bills.

Known as the T-HUD bill because it sets the fiscal-year appropriations for the Departments of Transportation and Housing & Urban, H.R. 2527 contains several provisions affecting trucking. These would:

  • Allow 33-foot long double trailers to operate on Interstate and other highways— regardless of state laws prohibiting them.
  • Keep the 34-hour restart rule suspended until a Federal study is completed and only revoke the rule suspension if that FMCSA impact report shows that “drivers who operated under the restart provisions… demonstrated statistically significant improvement in all outcomes related to safety, operator fatigue, driver health and longevity and work schedules” vs. drivers who had run under the rules in place before the 2013 change.
  • Prevent the government from increasing the $750,000 minimum liability insurance coverage now required for truckers.
  • Remove funding to implement wireless roadside inspections on highways.

Courtesy of Truckinginfo