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Cuts may not include most trucking safety programs

| February 06, 2013

While budget cuts loom and federal officials make contingency plans, motor carrier safety programs remain exempt from significant reductions.

On Feb. 5, President Obama asked Congress to approve a smaller package of spending decreases and tax reforms to delay a $1.2 trillion reduction that otherwise begins March 1 and ends in 2021. Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky rebuffed that proposal.

A 2011 budget act requires sequestration of certain funding authorizations if a special joint congressional committee of cannot agree on cuts. Lawmakers use sequestration to require cutbacks in programs and use that savings to decrease the deficit. The reductions were to begin Jan. 3, but Congress approved a two-month extension when the super committee failed to reach consensus.

However, a 1985 act provides exemptions to this process, the Congressional Research Service reported last fall. Surface transportation programs excluded include motor carrier safety operations, programs and grants. Also exempted is funding for federal-aid highways and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration operations and research.

In a Feb. 5 memo, DOT Deputy Secretary John Porcari told employees the department is trying to determine how to deal with cuts if sequestration occurs. Senior staffers are examining where reductions can be made in contracts, grants and expenditures. The DOT would also attempt to cut operational and administrative costs, such as in travel, training, facilities and supplies.

Department leaders may have to issue temporary furloughs, but affected employees would have at least 30 days’ notice before orders were issued, Porcari wrote.

  • Mike Smith

    I agree with you completely. Instead Obama & are government are embarrassing Mexicans in our own country to drive down our wages, only to enrich Mexicans and their offspring. All of which, is killing us off/ a new form of Genocide.

    I am in the So. West, AZ, and the Mexicans from So. Cal. are destroying our wages, while enriching Mexicans, wither they be from Mexico or Mexicans and their children from So Cal.

  • mike

    theyre just “undocumented”, lol. i agree with you 100% though.. if safety was important they would be investigating how these companies hire so many new drivers to replace all of the ones that quit due to unsafe/poor conditions with no possibility of pay raises due to exploitation. its amazing how alot of these otr companies hire in drivers at slave rates ranging from 24 cpm to 33 cpm when inflation has driven the price of food and everything else so high that they basically have these poor saps in slavery so that they can feed themselves and they have to stay in their truck all yr long without going home to be able to survive.

    what it comes down to is the politicians encouraging what is happening, no minimum wage, the pay rates can go as low as they can set them and still convince people to get in their truck, hook or crook..and millions of dollars in incentives for hiring drivers thru these training programs where drivers that stick around dont get payraises or retention pay of any sort.

  • Mind Games

    Don’t hafta call em any names the people of Mexic gotta eat too jeez…. The people you guys could throw out the country are sitting in the chairs of power but here’s a little secret pisst! You got more power than he does because you drive that truck and all you guys need to do is turn those keys to the off position…. Think. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.