House passes latest version of highway bill

The Surface Transportation Reauthorization & Reform Act of 2015 was passed in the House yesterday by a vote of 363-64, and will now go to a conference committee with Senators.

This multi-year bill would provide state and local governments the ability to maintain and move forward with transportation projects in their areas. The bill also establishes three programs to improve freight movement and to strengthen the United States economic competitiveness: a National Highway Freight Policy, Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects Program, and National Multi-modal Freight Network.

The House bill includes an amendment for an exemption for drivers shipping agricultural products with Class A commercial driver’s licenses from attaining a Hazardous Materials endorsement, enabling them to transport more than 118 gallons of fuel, up to 1,000 gallons, without the additional certification.

The American Soybean Association is upset the bill does not address states’ ability to allow increased truck weights on federal interstates. Rep. Reid Ribble offered the amendment that failed by a vote of 187-236.

Similarly, the House rejected an amendment by Rep. Tom Tooney (R-FL) by a vote of 185-240, that would have allowed states to let livestock trucks with a gross vehicle weight of up to 95,000 pounds operate on their roads if they obtain a special permit.

Organizations in this Story

American Soybean Association

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