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Friday, July 6, 2012

Analysis: Confused? Here's what happened with EOBRs in Congress last week: Land Line Magazine
EOBR Mandate? Not so fast nor so certain! Click on the link below for the latest.
By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor

If you are a little confused about the status of electronic on-board recorders after all that happened in Congress late last week, you’re not alone. It didn’t help that many news outlets picked up an erroneous APreport and had to issue corrections. And of course, there were two bills, not just one. Bear with us, and we’ll try to explain things as best we can.

Let’s begin with some need-to-know facts. On Friday, June 29, both the House of Representatives and Senate approved a two-year, $101 billion bill that sets transportation policy for the next two years – specifically fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

They are calling it MAP-21, or “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century.”

Despite a strong effort from OOIDA and its members, the EOBR mandate was included in the bill. The language instructs the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to carry out a rulemaking to require EOBRs in all heavy trucks in the next few years.

The final version of MAP-21 also contains things like truck parking, a study of cab crashworthiness, broker reform and other items of interest to truckers.

MAP-21 is on its way to President Obama’s desk for signature into law. He is expected to sign the legislation in the coming days.

But here is where it got confusing.

The same day that Congress was voting and passing the final version of MAP-21, the House was considering another bill – totally separate – dealing with annual budgets for various departments including the U.S. Department of Transportation. These types of bills are called appropriations bills, or “approps” for short. They’re routine and required by Congress every year.

It was during debate on the DOT “approps” bill that OOIDA issued a Call to Action, urging members to support an amendment that would render an attempt at an EOBR mandate moot by stripping away its funding.

The tactic proved to be effective, as the House voted in favor of the amendment.

Let’s get this straight – are EOBRs alive, or dead?

The answer at this moment is that either outcome is still possible.

Yes, the big highway bill does contain a mandate for EOBRs, but the program may not get funded if the House amendment to the “approps” bill survives a vote later this year in the Senate.

Rest assured, the battle against an expensive and unproven EOBR mandate is far from over, and your Association will call on you to stay involved when the timing is right.
Copyright © OOIDA

Analysis: Confused? Here's what happened with EOBRs in Congress last week: Land Line Magazine

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