Bills aim to bring more veterans to trucking

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Two bills now on the House floor would make it easier for military veterans to transition into the trucking industry.Two bills now on the House floor would make it easier for military veterans to transition into the trucking industry.

Two bills in the U.S. House were recently approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that will make it easier for military veterans to transition into truck driving careers.

One of the bills would, if passed, allow current service members and reservists who drive specialized vehicles in the military to use the same commercial driver’s license testing exemptions that are currently offered to veterans.

The bill, titled the Active Duty Voluntary Acquisition of Necessary Credentials for Employment (ADVANCE) Act (H.R. 2258) was introduced by Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.). Aguilar said in a press release the ADVANCE Act has been endorsed by the American Trucking Associations and the Association of the United States Navy.

“This is a common-sense measure that will help our brave men and women find work here in the Inland Empire,” Aguilar said. “While we hear every day that Washington is broken and compromised by partisan gridlock, we can clearly see that there are issues that both parties can get behind. This is about helping our heroes find job opportunities in our communities.”

The second bill approved by the committee would build on current law enacted by the FAST Act in December 2015 by allowing more medical professionals from the Veterans Administration to give Department of Transportation physical exams.

The Veterans Expanded Trucking Opportunities (VETOPPS) Act of 2017, introduced by Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.), would allow all qualified VA medical professionals, including advanced practice nurses and physician assistants. The bill adds that “qualified examiners” must be licensed, certified or registered in a state to perform physicals, be familiar with the standards for truck drivers to be medically certified and to never have acted fraudulently when giving medical exams.

Woodall said of the more than 50,000 DOT-certified medical examiners, there were only 25 in the VA health system. He added that the bill has received support from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the American Legion and more.

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Both bills will now move to the House floor for a vote before being sent to the Senate.

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