9/27/2011 4:00:00 PM
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Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and three other congressmen have sent a letter to President Obama expressing â€œconcernâ€� over proposed changes to the federal hours-of-service rules governing truck drivers.
â€œWe will aggressively oversee any attempt by the [Department of Transportation] to impose new regulatory burdens on the trucking industry by making changes to the current [HOS] rules,â€� said the Sept. 23 letter
The Federal Motor Carrier Administration is expected to announce changes to the HOS rules by Oct. 28 â€” changes that the congressmen, and trucking industry leaders, have said will have a negative impact on productivity and the U.S. economy.
The current rule allows drivers to drive 11 hours of their work day. Among the proposed rule changes is one that would limit driving hours to 10 per day.
American Trucking Associations told the Obama administration earlier this month that the revised hours-of-service rules would hurt the trucking industry, resulting in reduced wages for hundreds of thousands of truck drivers, significant costs for trucking companies and billions of dollars in lost productivity.
Also signing the letter were Reps. John Duncan (R-Tenn.), chairman of the panelâ€™s on highways subcommittee and Bill Schuster (R-Penn.), who chairs the subcommittee on railroads, pipelines and hazardous materials, and Sam Graves (R-Mo.), a member of the Transportation Committee and Chairman of the House Small Business Committee.
â€œWe are very concerned the proposed changes will result in additional trucks and drivers on the road to deliver the same amount of freight, adding to final product costs and increasing congestion on our already overburdened highways,â€� the letter said.
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