Statements by National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Philip Ellis on failure to include a common sense amendment by Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., to address the outdated truck weight laws in H.R. 22 Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act.
“The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is greatly disappointed in the members of Congress who opposed modernizing America’s transportation laws. The cattle industry relies on trucks for the safe, timely transportation of livestock from all corners of the country in order to keep up with the global demand for our product. The days of the cross-country cattle drive are over, and the livestock industry no longer utilizes the rail system. Rep. Rooney’s amendment would have allowed states the option to issue special permits for livestock shippers to operate vehicles weighing up to 95,000 pounds. Despite the numerous objective science-based transportation studies, including the U.S Department of Transportation’s own study, that support the increase of truck weights both on economical and safety principles, the House failed to vote on the side of science. Without the inclusion of Rep. Rooney’s amendment, Rep. Reid Ribble’s amendment, or language to address the mandatory 30-minute rest period rule, there is nothing to support in H.R. 22 Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act, and NCBA strongly opposes its passage.”
NCBA: Congress ignores science, fails to include truck weight reform in highway bill
Statement by National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Philip Ellis on failure to include Rep. Ribble’s truck weight reform language in H.R. 22 Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act.
“The vote … is an injustice to America’s cattle producers. Truck weight regulations affect every cattle producer’s bottom line. Outdated federal transportation laws force trucks to carry partially full loads, stifling efficiency and requiring more trucks than necessary on the road. While some opponents claim a safety issue, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s own Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study shows the numerous benefits to increasing truck weights without sacrificing safety. Instead of voting on the side of science, our elected officials were bullied into a faulty emotional vote – a dangerous precedent for our lawmakers to follow.
“Cattlemen and women appreciate the strong leadership of Rep. Ribble for bringing forward legislation that would have made livestock transportation safer, more economical, and less stressful on U.S. roadways. Without meaningful reform to the outdated truck weight laws, NCBA cannot support the passage of the Highway Bill.”