Senate OVERTURNS This Strict Rule!

( – In an April 26 vote, the Senate voted, 50-49, to rescind Environmental Protection Agency emissions regulations for heavy-duty trucks. The bill now heads to the House.

Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer introduced the bill. Democrat West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin voted with Republicans to overturn the new regulations, which Republicans say could hurt the trucking industry and, in turn, the economy by contributing to problems in the supply chain. With Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stating April 26 that the new standards would hurt trucking firms and add to the price of new trucks significantly.

The EPA rule set new, tougher emission standards for a wider range of heavy-duty trucks. Yearly emissions limits are tightened by the new rule. Provisions to existing rules which ensure emissions reductions in long-term road use were changed. Test procedures, emission-related warranties as well as regulatory useful life requirements were all toughened as part of the new rule. The rule affects both medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks starting with model year 2027.

The EPA said the new regulations were needed because of the emissions threat to public health. The new standards are 80 percent tougher than current standards. The Biden administration’s new rule was adopted in December 2022.

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association President Todd Spencer also spoke out against the new EPA rule passed in December saying it was a push for electric vehicles and that the infrastructure is not there for heavy duty commercial vehicles to be electric.

Republicans were able to bypass Democrats and force a floor vote at a majority threshold instead of the 60-vote threshold required to pass legislation by using the Congressional Review Act. 

If the House passes the bill, President Joe Biden is expected to veto it. A veto threat was issued before the Senate vote by the Office of Management and Budget. A two-thirds majority would be needed in both the Senate and the House to override Biden’s expected veto.

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