Sleepy and the Bandit: House votes to slow sleep testing for truck drivers

Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.) introduced the bipartisan bill after the Transportation Department indicated it would soon issue guidance requiring up to three million commercial drivers to be tested for sleep apnea. A government study found that 28 percent of truck drivers suffer from this disorder, which can leave drivers tired and increase the risk of accidents.

The bill passed today, H.R. 3095, allows the government to issue a rule, but only after going through a formal process that includes hearing input from the public, including the trucking industry.

The American Trucking Industry says required testing could impose a $1 billion cost to the industry, and that a rule on this issue should only be approved through a transparent process.

Since those industry complaints, the Department of Transportation has said it would go through a formal rule-making process. But passage of the bill in the House and Senate would ensure this outcome, and members of both parties said they support the legislation.

"I still believe this bill is necessary to codify that position into law and give the opinion of Congress to FMCSA on this issue," Bucshon said Wednesday, referring to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

House passage sends the bill to the Senate, which has not indicated whether it will consider the bill.

Also Thursday, the House approved H.R. 2600, which clarifies that a federal law requiring certain disclosures for inter-state land sales does not apply to sales of condominiums.

This bill was also debated without incident on Wednesday, and the House passed it today in a 410-0 vote. 

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