By Michael A. Regan, CEO
With the Senate now having (seemingly) put the matter of judicial nominations behind them, the Democrats have agreed to resume Committee meetings so the Senate can act on critical matters such as the Highway Authorization Bill (SAFETEA). The Senate has passed SAFETEA with a vote of 89-11. It now moves to the Committee where representatives from the Senate and House of Representatives will reconcile differences in their versions of the Highway Bills (The House’s version is HR-3) and then send it to the President.
Two issues we have been monitoring very closely are the provisions regarding the Federal Fuel Surcharge, and the use of tolls on the Federal Highway system. In our previous Executive Briefings, we’ve asked you to call or write your Senators letting them know where you stand on these issues. We are pleased to report that SAFETEA DOES NOT have a fuel surcharge provision and, with the Hutchinson ’ Nelson amendment, has (from a shipper’s perspective) a more rational approach on tolls.
If you haven’t yet made your voice heard, we encourage you to call your Senator’s offices and let them know you oppose any legislation calling for a Federal Fuel Surcharge and that you support SAFETEA’s provisions affecting tolls (the Hutchinson ’ Nelson amendment). This will be especially important if one of your Senators is serving on the Conference Committee. Just to give you an idea of the lobbying that is going on we have included an ad from OOIDA http://www.tranzact.com/ooida.html (the group that is pushing for the Federal Fuel Surcharge provision). The battle on these issues is not over and that is why you need to make your voice heard!