Make Washington work for you

Image: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

Image: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

Have you ever heard the saying, “there’s no time like the present?”

According to Dictionary.com, this adage dates back to 1562. While life in the 16th century was certainly much different from our own, one thing remains the same – it is better to take advantage of an opportunity right away than to procrastinate and lose momentum toward achieving your goals.

It is with that same mindset that the truckload industry must take advantage of the opportunity to shape policy in Washington right now. When Congress returns from the August recess, lawmakers will be anxious to get back to work. While their focus will be on a variety of pressing issues, one of the most important will be the reauthorization of the federal highway bill, also known as the FAST Act. 

When Congress considers a piece of legislation of this magnitude (usually, the highway bill is only reauthorized once every four or five years), it tries to get as many policy riders as possible to stick to this moving vehicle. This year, we have seen dozens of trucking-related provisions introduced by both Democrats and Republicans with the intent of adding their language to the larger bill. These provisions include everything from a mandate for side underride guards to a repeal of the excise tax on the retail sale of heavy trucks and trailers, just to name a few. 

It is currently unclear whether any of these provisions will make it through in the final version of the reauthorization bill, or if we’ll even get a reauthorization at all. But what is clear is the need for stakeholder input right now to help guide the conversation. It is only through truckload carriers voicing their concerns or support for various initiatives that we will be able to ensure the final bill works for our industry.

TCA strongly encourages all of our members – for-hire carriers, private fleets, associates, and schools – to join us on Capitol Hill on September 25 for our Call on Washington to make your voice heard on these important issues. If we wait to tell the story of truckload, the opportunity to transform the hearts and minds of legislators will pass us by. There truly is no time like the present, so let’s make good use of this positive momentum to affect monumental change!