Lawmakers Push To Have Agricultural Trucking Relief Act Included In Transportation Bill

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Reps. Austin Scott (R-GA) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) are teaming up to have H.R. 1673, The Agricultural Trucking Relief Act of 2019, inserted into the House Transportation and Infrastructure bill this week as a floor amendment. As mentioned in prior newsletters, their legislation would modify the current agricultural commodity definition for transportation to explicitly include the horticulture and floriculture industries, alleviating confusion when utilizing certain exemptions for hours of services rules.

Two weeks prior during the markup of the House bill — also known as The Moving Forward Act — Transportation and Infrastructure Committee member Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC) had attempted to include H.R. 1673 on Scott’s behalf as an amendment but ultimately was unsuccessful.

Getting the amendment included remains a tall order, as it must first pass through the Rules Committee before being brought to the floor. It remains uncertain as to whether this bill will advance beyond the House, with a dwindling legislative session before the upcoming election and both sides unwilling to compromise.

With a proposed rule pending on the agricultural commodity definition from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, lawmakers may also be hesitant to get out in front of the agency. Despite these headwinds, Austin Scott and Kurt Schrader continue to show resolve and press for this key industry issue.

We will update our members when we see a final order out of the White House. Should there be significant restrictions placed on the H-2B program, we will work with our Congressional allies to ensure that our members continue to have access to needed H-2B workers.

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