Senate Democrats to Offer Safety Amendments to Highway Bill
Surface Transportation Reauthorization
Some provisions in a six-year Senate highway bill that affect highway safety will need to be cut and others added before Democrats will support the larger bill, according to Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.)
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee recently approved a rail, freight and safety bill (S. 1732) that is expected to come to the floor as part of a larger six-year highway and transit bill as soon as this week. No Democrats on the panel voted for the legislation. And Markey, along with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), said July 20 that they will not support the larger bill on the floor unless provisions of the Commerce Committee's “anti-safety, anti-consumer and
anti-labor” bill are removed.
Amendments That May Be Offered
Blumenthal said …he planned to offer amendments that would require used car dealers to fix safety defects on recalled vehicles and increase civil penalties that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can impose on automakers for safety violations.
Gearing Up For Battle Before Vote
Republicans made some concessions on the transportation bill sponsored by committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) before it was approved, like doubling safety fines on the auto industry from $7,000 per incident to $14,000. ….
The committee further approved an amendment offered by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) that would prohibit rental car companies from renting out vehicles under recall unless they had fixed the safety defects.
Markey and Blumenthal said the committee-approved changes made to the bill were not enough.
Editor's note: Sen. Blumenthal's (D-Conn.) is planning to offer an amendment to ground used vehicles under open recall on the Senate floor as early as this week. Dealers and their customers are urged to call their Senators at 202.224.3121 and urge them to oppose the anti-consumer Blumenthal amendment during the Highway bill debate. Contact information for the Senate offices is also available at www.senate.gov. Click here for NADA's issue brief on vehicle recall legislation and click here for talking points opposing
the Blumenthal amendment.
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