The Trump Administration’s first term is coming to a close and, like every other prior first-term President, there’s uncertainty over whether voters will keep the current President in the White House, and his Administration in power in Washington, DC. As a result, officials throughout the Trump Administration are focused on taking action in the next 2-3 months to finalize as much of the Administration’s policy agenda as possible. STC stays in close contact with DOT and FMCSA officials, and below are some of the actions we expect FMCSA to take before the election (or perhaps just after the election, if President Trump does not gain a second term).
- It will publish decisions on three Hours of Service-related “petitions for reconsideration” filed by different groups that will allow the four HOS rule changes to go into effect on Sept 29, 2020, as planned. This action will not fundamentally alter the finalized rule and will allow the Trump Administration to put its ‘more flexibility is needed’ stamp on the HOS rules.
- FMCSA will announce its plan and timeline to change (and hopefully improve…) the CSA program. While details about this announcement remain fuzzy, it’s clear this Administration wants to make changes for the long-term. Timing is before the election.
- FMCSA will also make at least one CDL-related rule change designed to make program administration easier and more efficient. FMCSA is working on two CDL rule changes: (1) to allow driver-trainees to take the CDL knowledge test in the State in which they are being trained, if it’s different from their State of domicile; and (2) to allow 3rd party CDL testers to administer a CDL skills test to drivers they also trained to get the CDL. This practice is currently prohibited. Both rules are designed to make the CDL process easier and less costly for the driver-trainee, which could help increase the number of trainees that successfully obtain a CDL. STC expects the ‘3rd party tester’ change to be made first (either before or just after the election).
While other regulatory actions are in the FMCSA pipeline, these are what we expect FMCSA to ‘wrap up and put a bow on’ before the election.