Lawmakers aim to train more truck drivers, ease supply chain issues through bipartisan bill

A semi truck utilized by college students whereas incomes their industrial driver’s license (CDL) parked at Truck America Coaching of Kentucky in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.

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WASHINGTON — A pair of bipartisan lawmakers have reintroduced laws providing tax credit to U.S. truck drivers in an effort to deal with a dire pandemic-related scarcity.

The Strengthening Provide Chains By way of Truck Driver Incentives Act goals to fight what lawmakers stated was a shortfall of about 80,000 industrial truck drivers in 2021, brought on by hiring and retention challenges. Fewer licensed drivers can result in dearer delivery and delays in receiving items, stated the workplaces of the invoice’s sponsors, Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., in a press launch Monday.

The bill would set up a two-year refundable tax credit score of as much as $7,500 for truck drivers with a sound Class A industrial driver’s license who drive not less than 1,900 hours in a yr. It could provide a two-year refundable tax credit score of as much as $10,000 for brand spanking new drivers or folks in a registered trucking apprenticeship.

New industrial drivers who didn’t drive the yr prior, or who didn’t drive for 1,420 hours within the present yr, would even be eligible for the credit score.

It was not instantly clear Monday what the invoice’s probabilities had been of passing within the present Congress. The laws was first launched a yr in the past, earlier than Republicans received management of the Home within the midterm elections.

The trucking trade struggled to retain employees through the pandemic but additionally noticed an influx of teachers and service workers as a result of regular work and aggressive salaries supplied. The invoice goals to draw extra employees to the trade and assist stem delivery delays.

Gallagher known as the proposal “a typical sense strategy to recruit and retain extra drivers to maintain our cabinets stocked and our financial system shifting.” In an announcement, he added that the trade is “dealing with a large workforce scarcity that is disrupting almost each side of our provide chains.”

Spanberger in her personal assertion stated the invoice would “assist convey extra drivers into the fold, maintain them on the freeway, and reward them for his or her loyalty” displayed throughout pandemic-related shutdowns.

Ten advocacy organizations representing the trucking trade, together with the American Trucking Associations and American Loggers Council, have backed the invoice.

The laws will present aid for present truck drivers whereas serving to to retain important employees, stated Chris Spear, president and CEO of the ATA.

“This bipartisan laws will make a significant distinction within the lives of latest truckers, serving to them transfer into one of many few professions in right this moment’s financial system that may present a middle-class way of life with out the time and expense of a four-year school diploma,” Spear stated in an announcement.

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