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$3.5 trillion spending bill — and not one penny for truck parking

Amendment strike-down follows same result in bipartisan bill passed in August

Truck parking funding left out of reconciliation bill. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Independent owner-operators took congressional Democrats to task for failing to fund expanded truck parking in the $3.5 trillion federal spending bill.

In marking up its portion of the legislation on Tuesday, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee voted down an amendment offered by Mike Bost, R-Ill., that would have provided $1 billion over the next five years for truck parking projects.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which has been pushing hard for the legislation the past two years, said the vote-down was ironic given that it happened during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

“Despite the long history of broad, bipartisan support, numerous government studies and repeated pleas from truck drivers, Democrats on the T&I Committee opposed efforts to address trucking’s number one safety concern: the lack of safe parking,” commented OOIDA President and CEO Todd Spencer. “Truckers likely face another five years of a worsening crisis that jeopardizes their safety on a daily basis.”

Spencer said that addressing the parking shortage also supports efforts to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector — a major goal of the legislation — by noting that truck drivers waste approximately 56 minutes per day looking for parking while needlessly burning fuel.

“It’s tough to swallow the fact that in a year when Congress is authorizing hundreds of billions of dollars for infrastructure projects and highway safety programs, not a single penny was set aside for truck parking,” he added.

The defeat marked the second time in five weeks that Congress chose to pass on truck parking funding. A similar amendment failed to make it into the bipartisan, $1.2 trillion so-called “hard infrastructure” package passed by the Senate in August.

The lack of traction in Congress contrasts with stated efforts by the Biden administration to tackle the problem. Last month a federal advisory panel urged the Commerce Department to address truck parking shortage and related safety concerns.

Despite the loss for truck parking in the reconciliation bill, the House T&I Committee’s 15-hour markup session did result in nearly $60 billion aimed at cutting pollution and promoting transportation projects, including:

  • $6 billion to advance local surface transportation projects.
  • $4 billion for reduction of carbon pollution in the surface transportation sector.
  • $2.5 billion to the Federal Maritime Administration to support more sustainable port infrastructure and supply chain resilience.
  • $1 billion to the Department of Transportation to support projects that develop, demonstrate or apply low-emission technologies or produce, transport, blend or store sustainable aviation fuels.
  • $1 billion for climate-resilient Coast Guard infrastructure.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by John Gallagher.


  1. Lee Gray

    Homeless people can park & live free anywhere they want with no problem with money and service programs being offer to them for the taking. Truckers on the other hand are being vilified for being out of hours and not having secure safe places to park or rest. We work hard to earn our way and shouldn’t be penalized for our contributions to the welfare and product distribution in this country.

  2. 1982 service llc

    This is why I quit driving before, it’s very hard out here, we r doing all we can to feed are family’s, but when we have to worry everyday if being on the road is the best option for me and my family, then just like last time, I’m done, I can deal with this government that don’t care about us who by the way , keeps this country going. We are on the road, if we are going to make it home safe, we need safe parking, I’ve been in some really really bad places because of the lack of safe parking. With all the land the gov took from my people, you would think this was a know Briner, help the people who keep us with everything we have, look around you and tell me what you see, it came off the back of my truck, either all the way or part of the way, either way, we was a big part of or the biggest part of making that happen, think about that, think about where are country would be if, truckers just STOPPED, for 2 weeks, or just 7 whole days.

  3. Charles Wilmoth

    Not 1 article by freightwaves on the false receipts being provided by Pilot,Love’s,& T/A for Large ATA fleets,not 1 word on the DIRECT BILLING cost hidden by 3rd party cards like Comdata and EFS!Freightwaves is ATA CORP Coffer sponsored,what a joke

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John Gallagher

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.