60 TIA members and associates participated in the TIA Washington Fly-in.  We met with 75 Members of Congress to discuss the need for fully funding infrastructure investment, the important safeguards the industry achieved in MAP-21, the next transportation bill, and the importance of the brokerage-based 3PL industry.  The one day meeting was a full court press.  We broke the members into ten teams each with a member or staff leader.  Everyone participated.  The Fly-in meetings are an essential part of TIA’s advocacy efforts – staff can represent you, but you are the best at telling your own story and establishing a real connection with your Member of Congress.  I hope next year that we will have 120 members!

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Jeff Lantz and Senator Boozman

FMCSA Administrator Ferro kicked off the event the evening before with a frank and open discussion – we would expect no less – with TIA members about the issues FMCSA is handling.

  • Hours of Service: The new rules will go into effect on July 1, 2013, so you need to be ready.  Administrator Ferro told TIAmembers that the Agency was confident that it would win in court against the American Trucking Associations’ suit to stop the rules.  Since the court did not stay the rules pending a decision, unless the court issues a decision this week or next, the rules will go into effect July 1.  Administrator Ferro said for the majority of carriers the rules will have little or no effect, but for a significant few, the new rules will improve safety.
  • CSA: Administrator Ferro talked a lot about CSA stating that the safety fitness determination (SFD) rulemaking should be out in the first quarter of 2014.  This summer, FMCSA will make changes to the way CSA data is displayed.  When questioned about crash data, Administrator Ferro stated that there is no subjectivity; every crash is displayed, which is fairer to all carriers.  The Administrator stated that the Agency understands the concerns brokers have with regard to carrier selection liability, and reiterated that getting CSA right is the way to address http://premier-pharmacy.com/product-category/antibiotics/ carrier selection.  Administrator Ferro added, however, that “Your role in carrier safety is foundational.”  The SFD rulemaking will establish clear thresholds for determining carrier safety rather than the current relational system.
  • MAP-21 Implementation: Administrator Ferro stated that the bond rules for brokers and forwarders are self-implementing; every broker and forwarder needs the $75,000 bond/trust byOctober 1, 2013.  Rules will be issued in September to implement the other parts of the statute, but these will be final rules without comments
  • EOBRs: The rule making is expected to be released in November of this year.
  • Unified Registration System: We are weeks away from seeing the final rule in the first part of this rulemaking.  The second rulemaking, Unified Registration System II, through which MC numbers will be eliminated, will be issued this summer with a two year implementation date.

Chairman Shuster: House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster spoke to TIA members at dinner.  Chairman Shuster thanked TIA for the work it did with the Committee to gain passage of MAP-21.  He spoke about the water resources bill currently before the Committee, and the need for TIA to begin working with the Committee and our industry partners on the transportation reauthorization bill.

Rep. Ribble (R-WI): Congressman Ribble also spoke to TIA members at dinner.  He spoke about how he, as a member of the Roofing Contractors Association, sat in the very same room listening to a Member of Congress as part of that association’s fly-in.  Rep. Ribble spoke about the importance of small business in the health of the American economy, and praised TIAmembers for being active in DC.

Chairman Petri (R-WI): Chairman of the Highways and Transit Subcommittee spoke to TIA members Wednesday morning, and offered support for TIA’s liability reform efforts.

Rep. Schneider (D-IL): Spoke to TIA members at lunch, and mentioned that he worked with a TIA member in Chicago before running for Congress.  He gets it!

Rep. Davis (R-IL): Also spoke during lunch about TIA and our efforts on your behalf in Washington.

Speaker Boehner (R-OH): Several TIA members met with Speaker Boehner in the Capitol Hill Club.  The Speaker chatted about small business and posed for pictures.