This week the Senate passed an amendment by U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb) that would extend the ELD waiver for livestock haulers by one year.
“Nebraskans who transport livestock face unique challenges. Today the Senate passed my amendment to delay electronic logging device requirements for livestock haulers for one year,” Senator Fischer said. “With this extension, we will have more time to bring common-sense to these rules and provide additional flexibility.”
Senator Fischer worked closely with Senate Commerce Committee leadership, Chairman John Thune and Ranking Member Bill Nelson, to include her ELD amendment in the Minibus Appropriations bill that passed the Senate.
She first brought concerns about the inflexibility of hours-of-service requirements to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao in August of 2017. Senator Fischer held subsequent meetings with leadership at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to stress the need for flexible hours-of-service.
Following those meetings, the agency extended the temporary waiver from the ELD requirement for ag and livestock haulers while it continued reviewing its guidance. Additionally, Senator Fischer worked to ensure an extension of the ELD waiver for livestock haulers the through September 30, 2018, was signed into law in March. In May, FMCSA issued its guidance on hours-of-service requirements that provided some flexibility for truckers, including livestock haulers. Senator Fischer has continued working to expand on that hours-of-service flexibility, both with the administration and members of the Senate.
In a statement on Facebook, the United States Cattlemen’s Association said:
“This DOES NOT mean that we have one more year of an exemption, just that the OPPORTUNITY is now available to get an additional year-long exemption. The budget bills still have a few more hurdles yet to face this year – including the President’s desk.
“Nevertheless, this is a HUGE step forward and we are very appreciative of the work done by Sen. Fischer’s staff and others in securing this delay! Please continue calling your members of Congress to ensure this issue is at the top of their list of priorities, especially as we head into the back half of the year.”