Reps. Austin Scott, Kurt Schrader Lead Bipartisan Appropriations Request to Provide Regulatory Relief to Agricultural Truckers
March 5, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Austin Scott (R-GA-08) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR-05) sent a letter to Representatives David Price (D-NC-04) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, urging them to clarify the definition of “agricultural commodity” as a part of the Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations. Currently, the “agriculture commodities” definition does not apply to all agricultural products, such as nursery and greenhouse production, as well as turfgrass, making it difficult for those that transport these commodities to comply with Electronic Logging Device (ELD) and Hours of Service (HOS) regulations.
“Last summer, the FMCSA admitted that the definition of ‘agricultural commodity’ is vague and problematic, issuing an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and asking for input on what should be considered an agricultural commodity. Despite this, many will endure another season of uncertainty as to whether they qualify for the much-needed agricultural exemption while hauling highly perishable commodities,” wrote the Members. “We strongly urge the Committee to include this language as part of FY 2021 appropriations to provide clarity for drivers, farmers, and enforcement officers alike.”
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the main agency responsible for administering agricultural trucking laws, including ELD and HOS rules and regulations. Currently, the “agriculture commodities” definition does not apply to all agricultural products, making it difficult for those that transport commodities, like nursery and greenhouse products, to comply with regulations. This appropriations request builds upon the bipartisan Agricultural Trucking Relief Act (H.R. 1673), which Rep Scott introduced in March 2019. Click here to read more.
Today’s request is supported by American Farm Bureau Federation, AmericanHort, American Trucking Associations, Catfish Farmers of America, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Aquaculture Association, National Christmas Tree Association, the Turfgrass Producers International, United Fresh Produce Association, United Potato Growers of America, U.S. Apple Association, Washington Winegrowers.
Joining Reps. Scott and Schrader on today’s letter include U.S. Representatives Ralph Abraham (R-LA-05), Rick Allen (R-GA-12), Troy Balderson (R-OH-12), Nanette Barragán (D-CA-44), Jack Bergman (R-MI-01), Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24), Doug Collins (R-GA-09), James Comer (R-KY-01), T.J. Cox (D-CA-21), Rick Crawford (R-AR-01), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN-04), Neal Dunn (R-FL-02), Drew Ferguson (R-GA-03), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), Lance Gooden (R-TX-05), Rep. Michael Guest (R-MS-03), Jim Hagedorn (R-MN-01), Jody Hice (R-GA-10), Trent Kelly (R-MS-01), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-01), Barry Loudermilk (R-GA-11), Roger Marshall (R-KS-01), Collin Peterson (D-MN-07), Denver Riggleman (R-VA-05), David Rouzer (R-NC-07), Darren Soto (D-FL-09), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), Greg Steube (R-FL-17), Glenn Thompson (R-PA-15), Scott Tipton (R-CO-03), and Rob Woodall (R-GA-07).