United States Rep Russ Carnahan introduced HR 1079, the Professional Driver Background Check Efficiency Act, in response to the current hazardous materials background check procedures that cause professional drivers a substantial loss of time, income, and out-of-pocket expenses.
The Hazardous Material Endorsement (HME) required for professional drivers varies, but is typically $94 per driver. This legislation would put a $50 cap on the HME, reducing the burden on drivers and requiring government to be more efficient.
HR 1079 would also alleviate an unfunded mandate by permitting the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) to reimburse states for costs incurred in connection with the background record check.
In the 109th Congress, Carnahan introduced HR 5560, which intended to reduce the duplication and bureaucracy in background checks across federal agencies. Two of the provisions were signed into law as part of the SAFE Port Act; HR 1079 will further progress the government's obligation to act effectively with minimal waste.
As a result of the SAFE Port Act, drivers who have already undergone and passed an HME background check are not subject to another check, nor will they be subjected to an additional fee. This act provides that the Government Accountability Office should report to Congress on background checks similar to the Hazardous Material Endorsement background check, identify any duplicity within the systems, and make recommendations for increasing efficiencies.