Article courtest of TopMark Funding.
You may remember that TopMark Funding wrote about the INVEST in America Act in the past. What we know now is that the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has deliberated on it further. They went through over 24 hours of debate and more than 175 different proposed amendments. The finished bill was an act of compromise, with 34 Republican amendments and 23 Democrat amendments making it into the final version of the bill.
The Biggest Change: Insurance
The original bill had over 850 pages, and there is little chance that the amendments made it shorter. However, perhaps the most notable change implemented into the INVEST in America Act is the change in insurance requirements for motor carriers, from $750,000 to $2 million.
This change has been the subject of much contention. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) was mostly on board with the original bill, begrudgingly swallowing the delay of hours of service reform. This amendment has made the association strongly oppose the bill now. OOIDA insists that an increase in insurance requirements will not reduce accidents while also making smaller carriers close shop.
“Small business truckers have been working around the clock to keep the country healthy, while risking their personal well-being and struggling to stay in business due to historically low freight rates caused by COVID-19. Unnecessarily increasing their insurance rates is not the way to thank them,” Todd Spencer, representing OOIDA, said in a statement.
Proponents of the amendment consider it a necessary evil to adequately pay damages caused by trucking accidents, where injuries and destruction can easily exceed $1 million.
You can view the amendment on its webpage. As of the time of the writing of this article, the finished bill with all of its amendments has not been compiled into one finished document. The INVEST in America Act webpage still has the version of the bill from early June.
The committee plans to introduce the surface bill to the House floor on June 30th. Hopefully we will be able to see the amended version online by then.
Regardless, this new insurance requirement is yet another hurdle that makes it less likely this bill will become law.