Skip to page body Home About Community Living Doing Business Browse by Topic I Want to... Your Government
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement
News Review
CVE Update on Relevant Regulations (6/28/13)
Posted Date: 7/8/2013

Update on Relevant Congressional Action:

House and Senate Set to Markup FY2014 Appropriations Bills
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees both held hearing yesterday, June 27, to mark up their respective FY2014 Transportation Appropriations measures.

House Bill Breakdown
The House bill provides funding levels consistent with the amounts set in MAP-21 last year:

  • FMCSA Administrative Budget - $259,000,000
  • Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) - $218,000,000
    · Basic MCSAP - $171,000,000
    · New Entrant Safety Audits - $32,000,000
    · High Priority Grants - $15,000,000
  • Commercial Driver’s License Improvements Program (CDL) - $30,000,000
  • Border Enforcement Grants - $32,000,000
  • Performance and Registration Information System Management program (PRISM) - $5,000,000
  • Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks Deployment (CVISN) - $25,000,000
  • Safety Data Improvement Grants - $3,000,000

The proposed House bill also rescinds $95,000,000 in unobligated contract authority authorized prior to MAP-21. In addition to setting the funding levels, the bill also directs FMCSA evaluate and report back to Congress on multiple issues. On the issue of reincarnated/chameleon carriers, the agency is instructed to evaluate and report back to Congress on “the extent to which independent commercially available data sources would enhance the Agency’s ability to uniquely identify freight carriers with possible corporate and family linkages to previously shuttered carrier.” The agency is also instructed to report back to Congress on improvements that can be made to the Hazardous Materials Special Permit program within the Agency’s existing authorities, in order to provide relief to operators until the agency is able to complete the rulemaking mandated in MAP-21.

Senate Bill Breakdown
The Senate bill provides funding levels higher than the levels requested in MAP-21:

  • FMCSA Administrative Budget - $259,000,000
  • Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) - $222,000,000
    · Basic MCSAP - $171,000,000
    · New Entrant Safety Audits - $36,000,000
    · High Priority Grants - $15,000,000
  • Commercial Driver’s License Improvements Program (CDL) - $30,000,000
  • Border Enforcement Grants - $32,000,000
  • Performance and Registration Information System Management program (PRISM) - $5,000,000
  • Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks Deployment (CVISN) - $25,000,000
  • Safety Data Improvement Grants - $3,000,000

Unlike the House bill, the Senate bill also provides funding for the National Motor Carrier Safety Program, allotting $19 million for the program, which was established to help states develop motor carrier data systems. In the bill summary document, the Senate Committee also admonishes FMCSA for its inability to move forward on a number of critical matters. The Committee instructs the agency to ensure that it meets the current timetable for the Safety Fitness Determination rule (January 2014), which was originally slated to be completed in 2009. The report also directs the agency to ‘work aggressively’ to implement the electronic logging device (aka EOBR) mandate that was included in MAP-21. Like the House bill, the Senate bill also focuses on the chameleon carrier issue, and the Committee directs FMCSA to report back on the agency’s implementation of a risk-based vetting methodology for identifying chameleon carriers. Finally, the Senate bill directs the Government Accountability Office to monitor FMCSA’s implementation of the CSA program.

Outlook for FY2014 Funding
While it is a positive development that both the House and Senate have marked up transportation funding bills, the disparities in the bill (largely outside the FMCSA budget) will make it difficult for the two chambers to reconcile their versions. It is unlikely, though not impossible, that continuing resolutions will be necessary to provide funding for at least part of FY2014 while Congress grapples with the budget issue.

Senate Confirms DOT Secretary Nominee
Also on the Hill yesterday, the Senate confirmed the President’s nominee to replace Secretary Ray LaHood at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx was nominated in late April and his nomination was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee on May 22. The nomination passed the full Senate unanimously – no small feat for such a divided Congress. Mayor Foxx, who is expected to be sworn in soon, was first elected to the office in 2009 and was re-elected in 2011. He has overseen multiple transit projects in Charlotte and was thrust into the national spotlight when Charlotte hosted last year’s Democratic National Convention.

Regulatory Update:

FMCSA Issues HOS Exemptions to Fireworks Transporters
Today, FMCSA granted an exemption for 55 member-companies of the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) from the agency’s regulation prohibiting drivers from driving after the 14th hour after coming on duty. FMCSA renews the exemption for 45 APA member- companies and grants 10 additional carriers coverage by the exemption, which is applicable during the periods June 28–July 8, 2013, and June 28–July 8, 2014, inclusive.

Click here to visit the Grand Prairie Police Department Commercial Vehicle Enforcement home page.