Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Handled by TRAA

Washington, DC, August 30, 2021 – Earlier this month the Senate passed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R.3684). It is almost certain that the Senate version will be passed by the House and make it to the President's desk by year's end. The Towing and Recovery Association of America, Inc. ® (TRAA) is happy to report that thanks to the efforts of our membership, our federal lobbying firm, the TRAA LAN®, and the great relationships with members of Congress established at our annual Legislative Action Workshop & Hill Day events, the Senate version of H.R. 3684 has addressed two of TRAA's top priorities and also killed two provisions that represented profound threats to the towing industry. TRAA is the industry's watchdog on Capitol Hill!
Defeated Legislation
Non-Consent Towing Rate Regulation Struck-Down (S. Amdt. 2137) – In early August, Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced an amendment regarding non-consent rate regulation. This amendment has been generating a lot of concern lately, and for good reason, as it would have had a negative impact on our industry. Having previously met with TRAA, our federal lobbying firm, and representatives from the Professional Towers Association of Nebraska, the Senate Commerce Committee's minority staff proactively reached out to TRAA to get our opinion and understanding of the amendment. TRAA was able to quickly analyze the amendment, understand the negative impacts and bad precedent it sets, and articulate our concerns to the staff who were working as gatekeepers for amendments that would and wouldn't make the final Senate passed version. We are happy to report that this potentially damaging amendment did not make it into the final Senate passed version of the bill. While it could be reintroduced by another member of Congress, it is highly unlikely, and our federal lobbying firm is monitoring the situation closely so we can strike it down again if needed.
Federal Increase to Insurance Liability Coverage (H.R.2687) - One of TRAA's top priorities this year has been defeating efforts to increase minimum liability coverage for motor carriers, including towers, from $750,000 to $2M. In this effort, TRAA was a signatory on the February 2021 Truck Insurance Coalition letter to House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04) and Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO-06) opposing any increase in minimum liability coverage requirements for motor carriers. TRAA was also an active participant in numerous meetings with Congressional staff as part of the OOIDA Minimum Insurance Requirement Coalition and raising this issue was part of our conversations during TRAA's Hill Day meetings in March. We are happy to report that this provision was not included in the Senate bill. Given how damaging this insurance burden would have been for towers everywhere, this is a huge win.
Included Legislation
Apprenticeship Pilot Program for Under-21 CDL Drivers, Provisions from the DRIVE Safe Act (S.659) - An Apprenticeship Pilot Program was included as a provision in the Senate version of the bill. The three-year pilot program will allow up to 3,000 CDL holders aged 18 - 20 to drive long-haul in interstate commerce. As many of our members will remember, TRAA has been supporting various versions of this legislation since 2019. First, with the FMCSA's pilot program (Docket ID FMCSA-2018-0346) and then again with the DRIVE Safe Act. The DRIVE Safe Act has been one of the bills we've promoted with members of Congress during our last two annual Legislative Action Workshop & Hill Day events. The program is almost identical to the provisions outlined in the DRIVE Safe Act but as a pilot program overseen by the secretary of transportation. We believe this is a safe and effective way to explore the realities of under 21 drivers engaging in interstate commerce and great for the towing industry as we look to engage and attract more qualified individuals looking for career opportunities.
Protecting Roadside First Responders Act/Move Over Law Enforcement - The Senate bill also addresses another long held TRAA priority – protecting roadside first responders. The Senate version includes the major provisions in the Protecting Roadside First Responders Act (S.1386). Earlier this year TRAA signed on as a supporter of the bill which orders a federal study of state Move Over Laws to determine which are most effective and how the federal government can partner with states for better enforcement. The provisions also expand the definition of digital alert technology while adding a new section “to pilot and incentivize measures, including optical visibility measures, to increase the visibility of stopped and disabled vehicles”. Preventing first responder roadside fatalities is a central part of TRAA's advocacy. This is another major win for the towing industry as we work to increase safety for all roadside responders and decrease line of duty deaths.
As you can see, the Senate version of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R.3684) represents four huge wins for the entire towing and recovery industry. TRAA and our federal lobbying firm will continue to monitor and advocate on your behalf in DC. Thank you to all of our members who make this crucial work possible. This is a time to unify, not divide. Not a TRAA member? Join now to support these legislative efforts.



Who We Are

TRAA is the national association representing the U.S. towing and recovery industry. We act as the "voice of America's towing industry" by offering representation, education, and leadership at the federal level. Much of our focus is on representing the interests of the towing and recovery industry on Capitol Hill including promoting positive legislation and opposing potentially negative legislation. TRAA is the industry's watchdog on Capitol Hill!