The American Trucking Associations thanked members of the House of Representatives for passing – in a bipartisan vote – an amendment to the FAA reauthorization bill that would prevent states from creating a patchwork of meal and rest rules for interstate truck drivers.

“Since our republic was founded, the federal government – not individual states like California – has had the power to regulate interstate commerce. Congress reaffirmed this for the trucking industry first in 1994 and again today by approving the Denham-Cuellar-Costa Amendment,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Thanks to the leadership of Congressmen Denham, Cuellar and Costa for raising this critical issue, and to the bipartisan majority for affirming that the federal government has the last word on interstate safety rules.”

The amendment would clarify Congress’ intention to have primary regulatory authority over interstate commerce and end the erosion of this authority by states who impose meal and rest break rules that run counter to national uniformity. These unnecessary and duplicative laws are not grounded in safety, nor being enforced by the states. Rather, they are being used to fuel spurious litigation designed to extort the trucking industry, impairing the safe and efficient movement of interstate goods.

“Our industry’s trucks routinely cross state lines to deliver America’s food, fuel, medicine and other essential goods,” said ATA Chairman Dave Manning, president of TCW Inc., Nashville, Tenn. “Today’s vote is a key step in making sure the interstate supply chain continues to run safely and efficiently and without a hodgepodge of confusing and duplicative state rules. The entire trucking industry thanks Congressmen Denham, Cuellar and Costa for their leadership on this matter, and we urge the full Congress to quickly move to protect the federal government’s authority to oversee highway safety.”

The Denham-Cuellar-Costa Amendment was approved by a bipartisan 222-193 vote as part of the FAA reauthorization bill currently being debated by the House. ATA urges the House and Senate to quickly pass a bill – which includes this provision – on to the president for his signature.