Rep. Crawford introduces legislative package to improve supply chain issues

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U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) introduced a package of bills Wednesday that focus on improving supply chain issues.

Crawford, chair of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, said the bills would be part of a broader supply chain package being developed by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. His package of four bills is expected to be marked up by the committee on May 23.

“Since the new Congress was sworn in, we have held several hearings to learn directly from stakeholders where our supply chain falls short,” Crawford said. “These bills address important elements of these concerns and offer solutions that will improve how goods move throughout the nation for years to come.”

Crawford’s DRIVE SAFE Integrity Act would support a three-year pilot program in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to allow 18-to-20 year old Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers to work across state lines, and would direct the Transportation Secretary to move forward with regulations allowing those drivers to make interstate trips, if the data does not demonstrate they drive less safely than others.

The One Federal Decision for All Act would streamline the approval process for infrastructure projects, including ports, aviation and pipeline projects, by consolidating the environmental review process among governmental agencies.

The 10% Axle Variance for Dry Bulk Act would allow a 10 percent variance of 10 percent per axel for dry bulk, which can shift in route and potentially put the truck out of compliance with weight-per-axle regulations.

“Strengthening our supply chains requires a range of solutions – but few are as commonsense as making sure we’re allowing for the realities of basic physics,” Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24), a Cosponsor of the bill, said. “Providing this variance standard would ensure that while trucks are still meeting safe weight limits, they are also given the flexibility to transport critical goods across our nation. I am glad to reach across the aisle with Rep. Crawford to introduce this bipartisan fix, which will not only provide important relief to our carriers, but also reduce congestion and boost productivity in America’s agriculture, manufacturing, and other industries.”

The Rolling Stock Protection Act which closes loopholes that have allowed public transportation agencies to purchase rolling stock from State Owned Enterprises, including a Chinese-controlled manufacturer, using federal funds.