Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) and Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska) recently introduced a bill that would streamline the credentialing process for millions of professional truck drivers.
The American Trucking Associations lauded the legislation, dubbed The Transportation Security Administration Security Threat Assessment Application Modernization Act. National Tank Truck Carriers voiced its support of streamlining credentialing when the legislation’s companion bill was introduced in the House earlier this year.
If signed into law, the bill would enable drivers to use a single valid background check from TSA when applying for multiple credentials, such as a Transportation Worker Identification Credential, Hazardous Materials Endorsement, and PreCheck.
“This commonsense legislation will ease the burden on many hardworking men and women and allow them to focus on navigating the nation’s highways instead of government bureaucracies,” said Chris Spear, ATA president and CEO. “Duplicative fees and redundant background checks are placing unnecessary costs—both financial and time—on truckers at a time when our economy is short more than 80,000 drivers.
“We thank Senators Wicker and Fischer for their leadership and urge the Senate to pass this much-needed legislation.”
ATA also endorsed this legislation’s companion bill in the House.
In a letter to the Senate, Edwin Gilroy, ATA’s senior vice president, called the bill “a tangible step toward a more resilient workforce and American economy.”
“This legislation will result in significant financial and time savings for truck drivers. It also makes well-paying careers in the trucking industry more accessible for qualified drivers who are otherwise deterred by financial and/or logistical barriers to entry,” Gilroy wrote.
State trucking association leaders in Mississippi and Nebraska joined ATA in support of the proposed legislation.
“(It) would meaningfully ease the burden of duplicative and redundant background checks on many thousands of hard-working, patriotic Americans, allowing them to focus on delivering goods and moving our economy forward,” said Hal Miller, president of the Mississippi Trucking Association. “I want to commend Sens. Wicker and Fischer for their commitment to the trucking industry and to improving the lives of truck drivers.”
Added Kent Grisham, Nebraska Trucking Association president: “We are very grateful that Sens. Fischer and Wicker have listened to pleas for help raised by the trucking industry. Across Nebraska and the nation, truckers are working every available hour to address the crisis in America’s supply chain. But we are often handicapped by red tape, particularly when it comes to obtaining the proper clearances from the TSA.
“By sponsoring this act, the senators are taking a critical step toward removing that handicap, allowing us to get vetted drivers in the trucks sooner, and getting much need freight moving safely and efficiently.”