Moving Forward, Expanding the Audience & Growing Our Voice

What to Expect from TIA Government Affairs in the 117 th Congress

Scott Marks | TIA

TIA WILL START 2021 the way we closed out 2020: with a lot of momentum at our back and the foundation of more than 1,600 member companies supporting our efforts on Capitol Hill to be their voice in an ever-growing polarizing climate of stalemates and political jockeying. Our members, rightfully, expect us to block out the noise and fight on their behalf. We are prepared to do just that. There is a lot on the line, and TIA will take it head-on.

January has brought leadership elections, and as Members of Congress who have been re-elected to consecutive terms, they are elevated to positions of power and leadership, given more influence over legislative priorities, and political direction of their caucus. TIA will work across the aisle, across chambers, and across branches of government to push for the action items our members want. At the top of the agenda, the refiling and immediate advocacy of a Motor Carrier Safety Selection Standard (MCSSS). This legislation clears up layers of confusion that weigh down our members. Having clear boxes to check before selecting a carrier would be a great step for our members in their effort to meet the needs of their customers while protecting the roads and highways that we all enjoy.

The MCSSS would require that all entities selecting motor carriers need to ensure that they are properly registered; have obtained the minimum insurance; and have not been placed out-of-service at the carrier level. This standard would ensure that more than 3 million entities that select motor carriers have the clarity they need to select a safe motor carrier and a set of due diligence requirements.

The legislation would also require the FMCSA to move forward with the Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) rulemaking that would update the safety rating process and bring it into modern times, while removing the confusion and conflicting status’ of motor carriers. Essentially, the rulemaking would implement a “red-light/green light” system for entities selecting motor carriers.

While there will be a lot of familiar faces on Capitol Hill in the 117th Congress, there will also be a lot of new ones. TIA’s Government Affairs department will be conducting thorough introductions to these new Members of Congress and their staff. In addition, Anne Reinke, TIA’s new President & CEO, will be doing more principled meetings and introductions as she takes the helm of the organization.

As many readers are now familiar, we went to great lengths to fend off this issue of so-called “rate transparency” or put another way, an all-out assault on the free market. TIA will continue to educate Congress and the Administration on the important role that 3PLs play in the marketplace and protect your proprietary information.

TIA Government Affairs has a litany of other action items that we are monitoring. One such issue is the escalating war on the independent contractor, likely to be exacerbated with the political change in power. Monitoring the new Department of Labor leadership becomes more important to avoid the disastrous replication of AB-5 in California, or the “PRO Act” in Congress, as both of these pieces of legislation basically eliminate the independent contractor model that businesses have come to rely on heavily in their normal business operations.

The TIAPAC enjoys the generous support of its members through their donations. Especially in a pandemic, it can be challenging to make a personal contribution, but TIAPAC is one of the most valuable tools we have at our disposal to build relationships with Members of Congress and their staff. It is because of these donations and support for TIAPAC that we are able to support those candidates that support our agenda. Thank you so much.

TIA will continue to push for and advocate on issues that remain essential for our members. We did that in 2020 during a global pandemic, we will do that again in 2021. Our members are not only essential (by legal definition) to the supply chain, but essential to the entire global economy.

Scott Marks is Government Affairs Manager with TIA. He can be reached at marks@tianet.org.

Image credit: ANDREA IZZOTTI/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM