The White House Office of Management and Budget has extended its review of the proposed hours-of-service rule, which had been scheduled for publication Nov. 4.
The OMB normally does not provide reasons for extending deliberation and a new deadline for its officials to clear this rule has not been set, an office spokeswoman said.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration submitted the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to the OMB July 26 and had expected the office to finish its review Oct. 26 The agency had scheduled the NPRM for a Nov. 4 publication date and planned to allow public comment until Jan. 4.
The OMB met Oct. 18 with representatives from the National Retail Federation, National Industrial Transportation League, Waterfront Coalition, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Retail Industry Leaders Association, American Bakers Association and National Association of Manufacturers. Federal officials did not provide additional meeting information.
A year ago, the FMCSA entered into a settlement agreement to revisit the current rule, issued in 2008, and publish a final rule by July 26, 2011. Public Citizen, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Truck Safety Coalition and the Teamsters union had brought suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which had previously struck down the agency’s 2003 and 2005 versions of HOS.
This 2009 agreement stipulates that if the FMCSA produces a new HOS rule, “substantially different” from the 2008 rule, this may eliminate the need for judicial review of the current regulation.