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March 25, 2024

King, Bipartisan Colleagues Work to Cut Red Tape for Truck Drivers

Maine Motor Transport Association supports Senator’s legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME) is introducing bipartisan legislation to help cut red tape for commercial truck drivers and other transportation workers. The Transportation Security Screening Modernization Act harmonizes the process of applying for and renewing Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security credentials used by transportation workers nationwide. Applicants often have to apply for more than one security credential program which require duplicative background check paperwork and fees.

“In the midst of a nation-wide truck driver shortage — we must be doing everything in our power to simplify the credentialing process for these essential workers in our supply chain,” said Senator King. “The Transportation Security Screening Modernization Act would streamline the application process and fees for applicants undergoing redundant background and security checks. As we look to keep our supply chain rolling and workforce strong, we must support our truck drivers by modernizing the credentialing process while keeping our trucking industry safe.”

Current TSA policies often require separate applications for required credentials like the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) and Hazardous Materials Endorsements (HME), even though TSA conducts the same Security Threat Assessment (STA) for each program. Requiring applicants who have already enrolled and paid for a credential to do so again for another credential duplicates efforts — and cost — for potential job candidates. This legislation would standardize the process so applicants can enroll at a TSA enrollment center only once and use it for multiple credentials. These reforms do not make any modifications to the backend security assessment conducted on individual applicants.

The bill has been endorsed by American Trucking Associations, National Propane Gas Association, the Transportation Trades Department, the Border Trade Alliance, the National Tank Truck Carriers, Mississippi Trucking Association, the Association of the American Railroads, the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, and the National Energy and Fuels Institute.

"Subjecting essential supply chain workers to the same exact background check multiple times in order to receive different credentials from the same agency does nothing to enhance security,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This system only serves to pad government coffers by forcing truckers and other transportation workers to pay duplicative fees for a background check they’ve already cleared.  Congress should not allow the inefficiencies of government bureaucracy to impede the efficiency of our supply chain. We applaud Senators Wicker, Tester, Fischer, and King for introducing this commonsense, bipartisan bill to support the hardworking men and women who keep our economy running."

“Maine Motor Transport Association is grateful to Senator King for his leadership on the important issue of eliminating duplicative requirements for our supply chain workers to get the credentials they need. This commonsense, bipartisan legislation is a step in the right direction to streamline the processes that underpin the safe, efficient movement of goods in interstate commerce. On behalf of our members, and the entire trucking industry, we look forward to seeing this bill advance to the President’s desk,”  said Brian Parke, President & CEO of the Maine Motor Transport Association.

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), Deb Fischer (R-NE), and Jon Tester (D-MT) joined King in introducing the legislation.

Senator King has been an advocate for the trucking industry and included the DRIVE-Safe Act in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law which established a tucker apprenticeship program. He also cosponsored the bipartisan Veteran Improvement Commercial Driver License Act to ensure GI benefits can be used at more commercial driving program (CDL) schools.

The full text of the legislation can be found here.


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