Wednesday, August 29, 2018

F4A Update: Lawmakers search for a path forward to bring the FAA reauthorization

Last week, the American Trucking Associations reported that Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) continued to work to reach a deal on floor time for the FAA Reauthorization, with the latest extension set to expire on September 30th. While speaking to the press, Thune indicated that he is not interested in a short-term extension and is actively working through all possible scenarios to meet the Sept 30th reauthorization deadline.

In addition, one of the several issues still being discussed by Thune, Nelson and their staff, is language addressing the trucking industry’s F4A meal and rest break issue. Chairman Thune reiterated that this remains a priority for a lot of members, both Republican and Democrats, who support the F4A provision which was unanimously approved by the committee last summer as part of the committee-passed bill. While Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson continue to work through the outstanding issues on the bill, ATA is closely communicating with our Senate champions and Senate Leadership on the importance of keeping our F4A legislative fix in the FAA Reauthorization, and bringing the bill to the floor for consideration without an extension.

The FAA Reauthorization continues to be the best vehicle to resolve ATA’s top legislative issue, F4A. The Senate FAA Reauthorization bill currently includes language to address the meal/rest break portion of F4A, while the House-passed bill includes language addressing both the meal/rest break portion and the effective date. Moving the Senate bill in the near term will allow the two bills to be conferenced, and potentially be sent to the President to be signed into law later this fall. Our expectation, should that legislative process play out, is that an F4A fix will be included in a bill presented to President Trump later this year.