Legislative News

 

CABT Update: Confronting Upcoming Threats in Senate

 

I am writing to update you on the truck size and weight campaign. Bigger-truck proponents are lobbying hard to add amendments for both longer double-trailer trucks, also known as Double 33s, and heavier single-trailer trucks to this year's congressional appropriations bills.

 

We were successful in keeping bigger-truck amendments out of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee's FY 2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) bill in late May. Now our focus is on the Senate Appropriations Committee, which will mark up its version of the THUD spending bill in full committee this Thursday.

 

We are not seeing anything at this time to suggest that the heavier-truck amendment will be offered, but there are numerous signs that Double 33s proponents want to add their proposal to the Senate bill. In addition to the direct lobbying by the key companies involved—FedEx, UPS and Amazon—Double 33s proponents are buying radio and digital ads. At the same time, they delivered letters to the House and Senate in support of their proposal, signed by over 50 truckload companies and some of the largest retail and manufacturing organizations in the country.

 

CABT has been preparing for this threat since late last year. Our recent efforts began by arranging a D.C. fly-in for state troopers, sheriffs and police chiefs from 19 states—many of whom are past or current presidents of their respective state organizations. These law enforcement leaders held 120 meetings with Members of Congress and staff over the last two weeks, and delivered an effective message opposing bigger trucks due to public safety and infrastructure damage concerns.

 

We have generated significant news coverage in our target states, much of it supported by the fly-in, and our paid radio and social media campaigns are also underway. We must keep the pressure on Members of Congress to oppose these bigger trucks, especially since it is their constituents who overwhelmingly opposes these proposals.

 

I will update you again after the Senate Appropriations Committee markup hearing on Thursday. Please let me know if I can answer any questions, and thank you for your continued support of CABT.

 

Bill Gibb

President

Coalition Against Bigger Trucks

Railway Systems Suppliers, Inc. is a trade association serving the communication and signal segment of the rail transportation industry.