Congress Passes FY 2015 Spending Bill

The U.S. Senate voted late Dec.13 in a rare Saturday session for a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill that funds most government operations during the fiscal year, including the Department of Transportation.  

Senators voted 56 to 40 in favor of the appropriations bill, which narrowly passed the House of Representatives, where it was tied up in procedural disagreements.

The House passed the bill late Dec. 11, just hours before the government would have shut down due to a lack of spending authority. Congress then passed a two-day stopgap spending measure to give the Senate more time to consider a final spending bill.

The spending bill contained many policy riders, including a contentious provision that suspends until Oct. 1 two key parts of the federal hours of service rule for truck drivers.

Introduced by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), the provision suspends for the remainder of fiscal 2015 a requirement that drivers take off two consecutive periods of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. during a 34-hour restart. It also lifts the restriction on using the restart more than once every 168 hours.

It also requires the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to study the rule’s safety benefits, “which shall be subject to an independent peer review by a panel of individuals with relevant medical and scientific expertise."

 

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman's photo

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman develops and executes communications strategies to advance NATSO’s public relations and advocacy goals. Tiffany also develops and oversees partnerships related to the NATSO Foundation’s public outreach initiatives. Tiffany lives in the D.C. metro area with her husband and their two sons.More
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