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ELD mandate delay under consideration in House this week

The U.S. House is slated to consider this week, perhaps as soon as Wednesday, an amendment to halt enforcement of the U.S. DOT’s electronic logging device mandate at least through September 2018.

The amendment, filed by a bipartisan group of five representatives, would be attached to a larger 2018 appropriations package. It would prevent the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from “implementing, administering or enforcing” the ELD mandate through the 2018 fiscal year, according to the amendment’s language, and will be considered when the appropriations package comes to the floor for consideration.

Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) spearheaded the amendment’s potential inclusion in H.R. 3354, a bill that would fund government agencies through September 30, 2018. Babin introduced this summer a standalone bill in the House that would delay the ELD mandate’s enforcement date to December 2019, if passed and signed into law by President Trump.

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However, the amendment offered by Babin and the four other House lawmakers only suspends ELD enforcement through the duration of H.R. 3354.

For the amendment to be enacted, it must be successfully added to the House’s appropriations package. The full House must then pass the bill. The same language must also be passed by the Senate, then signed into law by President Trump. The Senate has not yet resumed work on its appropriations bills for the 2018 fiscal year.

Current government funding expires Sept. 30, but lawmakers are on a tighter deadline to clear a 2018 appropriations package — or a short-term stopgap — than may be obvious. Congress is in session this week and next but goes into recess for a week before returning the last week of September. That gives members just 12 in-session days to ward off a government shutdown. An amendment to delay the ELD mandate could be added to a short-term spending measure or a longer-term spending bill, should Congress be able to pass such a bill on its short timeline.

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James Jaillet is the News Editor for CCJ and Overdrive. Reach him at jjaillet@randallreilly.com.