Davis Statement from Hearing on the State of Trucking in America
Opening remarks, as prepared, of Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-IL) from today’s hearing entitled, “Under Pressure: The State of Trucking in America”:
The Subcommittee is continuing to ramp up its efforts to reauthorize federal surface transportation programs and policies. So far, we’ve held two hearings to gather stakeholder feedback on possible changes to those programs and policies.
Today, we’re turning our attention to the policies and programs that impact trucking. The trucking industry’s contribution to the Nation’s economy is significant. Trucks moved approximately 10.8 billion tons of freight in 2017, and the industry employs over 6 million drivers.
The Subcommittee has broad jurisdiction in this area. We are not only responsible for improving the surface transportation system that facilitates freight movement to domestic and international markets, but we are also responsible for the safety of the users of that system and the regulatory environment that the trucking industry operates in. Each of these responsibilities must be considered in a comprehensive manner.
As we proceed with our discussion today, there are a few thoughts that I think we should keep in mind.
Safety has and must continue to be a focus of the surface transportation reauthorization bill. Congress, along with the Department of Transportation, our non-federal partners, and the private sector, has made strides to improve the safety of our surface transportation system. But there is always more that we can do together.
We need to focus federal resources where they can make the most impact, and continue to provide state law enforcement agencies with the tools and resources they need to effectively enforce federal regulations.
We must also be careful to not impose burdensome regulations that impede our ability to move goods or that do not help us achieve our safety objective.
Finally, we must ensure that we make the necessary improvements to our surface transportation system to continue to facilitate the safe and efficient movement of freight.
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Tags: Highways and Transit