Group of Senators Appeal to Committee on Motor Carrier Liability Coverage

A group of Senators led by Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) sent a letter to the leaders of the Senate Commerce Committee on September 8, requesting that an increase to the existing minimum liability coverage for motor carriers is excluded from the next surface transportation reauthorization package. The letter notes that increasing coverage requirements would harm a wide range of industries that rely on transporting goods, while not resulting in improved roadway safety.

The requirement to increase the minimum insurance requirement for motor carriers from $750,000 to $2 million was included as an amendment in the House version of the highway bill (H.R. 2), which was passed by that chamber in early July. H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, is extremely unlikely to be advanced in the Senate, as it contains many Democratic priorities that are considered untenable by Republicans in Senate.

Lawmakers have been working to advance a surface transportation reauthorization package, as the current authorization is set to expire at the end of the month. However, it is most likely that a one-year transportation funding extension will be passed, pushing the deadline for final negotiations into 2021.

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