Sanford Cosponsors WHEEL Act
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Representative Mark Sanford signed on as a cosponsor of H.R. 3889, the Waiving Hindrances to Economic Enterprise and Law (WHEEL) Act, introduced by Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY). The bill aims to ease the regulatory burden on interstate trucking by expanding a pilot program studying the safety implications of allowing 18- to 21-year-olds operate trucks across state lines.
Rep. Sanford released the following statement:
“By the end of the year, there will be a national driver shortage of about 50,000 in the trucking industry, and about 2,000 of those are in South Carolina. Indeed, this shortage could reach upwards of 175,000 empty driving positions as soon as 2024. And with more than 70 percent of consumer goods carried on our national highways, having such a big shortage will lead to obvious issues, like delivery delays and higher prices.
“The current federal policy that places limits on who can enter the industry is inherently anti-competitive and could lead to even further shortages over time. The expansion of the pilot program to allow even more qualified candidates seems like a step in the right direction to me.”
The bill seeks to build upon the pilot program put in place last year by a bill that passed Congress with bipartisan support, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. This pilot program has been limited by the strict requirements that participants must be veterans between the ages of 18 to 21. The WHEEL Act would broaden the criteria for participation in the pilot program to allow commercial driver’s license holders age 18-21 who have a clean driving record and have received a certification of completion from a qualified training program to participate in the study.