(WASHINGTON) – Today, the Teamsters Union denounced the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) Appropriations Subcommittee’s attack on highway safety and infrastructure investment during its mark-up of the 2018 funding proposal. While eliminating important funding for infrastructure improvement, the subcommittee compromised the very highway safety programs the bill funds by inserting provisions that would increase driver fatigue, if enacted.
T-HUD gave in to special interests by including a provision that eliminates state meal and rest breaks for truck drivers, inserted language that allows 129,000 pound trucks to operate on North Dakota’s interstates, and provided an exemption for drivers transporting livestock from using electronic logging devices – a requirement that hasn’t even been implemented yet.
“These riders are unwise and dangerous to the public,” said International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa. “They are putting special interests ahead of the public interest. These provisions ignore decades of state law and, in some cases, change the law before it is even enacted.”
The bill also prohibits funding for California’s high-speed rail project, a vital element to alleviating highway congestion and providing a much needed alternative means of transportation in Southern California.
“With shortsighted actions like those demonstrated by this subcommittee, our representatives are letting other countries increase their already significant lead on us in regard to high-speed rail networks and other critical improvements to infrastructure,” Hoffa said. “It is imperative that we, as a country, make the right choices with infrastructure investment to help the U.S. continue to lead the world in this global economy.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.