The House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the highway reauthorization bill offered by Congressman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) to provide ironclad protection of the hours of service exemption by a vote of 257 to 167. The permanent agricultural exemption is strongly supported by the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI).

Congressman Moran's effort strengthens language adopted last week by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee by providing a technical correction to the definition of "agricultural commodities" to ensure that livestock, milk and other farm products are included in the definition, and clarifies the permanent protection of the hours of service exemption, preventing the Secretary of Transportation from rolling back or revoking the hours of service exemption approved by Congress.

Congressman Moran's amendment had the strong support of nearly 40 national and state agricultural organizations including the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Cotton Council, National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Grain & Feed Association, and the Agricultural Food & Transporters Conference of the American Trucking Associations.

The House is expected to approve its version of the highway bill by week's end, while the Senate is expected to consider its version of the highway bill in April.

Source: Association Release