Effort is important. Against the titanic mass that is our U.S. Government, a system comprised of hundreds of legislators, thousands of staff and three hundred million citizens, we are humbled to know that results are not (and cannot be) guaranteed, let alone instantaneous. Effort must be demonstrated with a commitment to recognizing the results in the long term, cataloged and demonstrated again for successive cadres of our membership.
Organized by the American Trucking Association on behalf of the Texas Trucking Association, the Call on Washington provides an annual opportunity to have our industry’s voice heard, to be a part of the dialogue, to be considered without being pushed aside or blithely forgotten. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. The ATA goes to great effort to ensure our contingent has appointments with our representatives, senators and their senior staff. The ATA makes the most of our time, breaking the contingent into teams based on their respective legislative districts – we don’t walk into a Congressperson’s office as just a lobby, but as constituents of their district. That’s powerful. That’s good use of effort. Some meetings are on time, some occur in the hallways outside committee chambers. We are patient, we deliver the message.
We target specific issues for the trucking industry that are important now…and down the road:
We asked Congress to clarify the Preemption Provision of the FAA’s Authorization Act. This provision, until recently, had provided uniformity of regulation regarding meal and rest breaks, and “piece rate” pay practices for interstate carriers. Recent legal decisions in certain states have been found in disagreement with this longstanding provision, and cast uncertainty and legal and financial liabilities at motor carriers.
Redundant Background Checks are increasingly…redundant. TXTA and ATA support legislation that would adopt a single, robust federal background check for drivers.
TXTA and ATA strongly support free trade, including NAFTA and the Department of Transportation’s Cross Border Trucking Program.
Transportation Infrastructure Spending is near the top of the list. Our industry is seeking adequate, long-term and sustainable funding for the Federal-aid highway program. ATA supports an increase to the fuel tax, and other funding alternatives such as a new annual fee on all vehicles, royalties from oil and gas leases, and a barrel tax on imported petroleum.
Reducing the driver shortage. TXTA and ATA membership support implementation of a pilot program to allow drivers 18-21 years of age operate CMVs in interstate commerce.
Our legislative travel has ended, but the effort has not abated, the pressure is still applied: other state’s trucking associations are making their annual Call on Washington in the coming weeks. Aided by the ATA, we can be sure that our message will carry, that our aim is true, that our effort has laid the foundation eventual success.
If you’re interested in doing more for the trucking industry, reach out to the Texas Trucking Association. Become a member, learn the issues. Your efforts are appreciated.
On your behalf,
Warriner & Associates Insurance