U.S. House Clears THUD Spending Bill by Six Votes

Despite a veto threat by the White House, last night the U.S. House of Representatives approved a spending bill including provisions to:

  • Prohibit implementation, administration, and enforcement of the 34-hour restart provision of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) hours-of-service rules;
  • Block a rulemaking on motor carrier minimum insurance requirements, which FMCSA began last year; and
  • Increase the allowed length of semitrailer or trailer operating in a truck tractor-semitrailer-trailer combination from 28 to 33 feet.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the spending package providing funding for the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and related agencies by a vote of 216-210. The majority included three Democrats and 213 Republicans, and the minority included 31 Republicans and 179 Democrats. The funding package as approved provides agency funding for Fiscal Year 2016, which runs from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016.

The bill will be sent over to the United States Senate, where the Senate will draft their own language different from the House bill. If the Senate passes their bill, a conference will be required to work out the differences, and then the bill will be sent to the President’s desk. President Obama has already indicated that he would veto a spending package that included HOS language, setting the stage for an interesting couple of months.