Congressional Update

Last week the Senate Appropriators marked up all 12 of its funding bills and sent them for floor consideration for the first time since 2018. On the same subject, the House has hit a few major roadblocks since they decided to massively cut spending (beyond the caps agreed to between Speaker McCarthy and President Biden) while also including some politically charged policy amendments, which makes overall House consideration somewhat tough. As a result, House Republican leadership is punting, and will wait until September to deal with Appropriations.

On July 27, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved three bills which EMA fully supports to preserve consumer choice for cars and trucks. The three bills: (1) H.R. 1435, The Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act; (2) H.R. 4468, The Choice in Automobile Retail Sales Act of 2023; and (3) H.R. 4469, The No Fuel Credits for Batteries Act of 2023 were passed out of committee along party lines. We will continue to monitor their progression through the House, though it’s important to note that any partisan House legislation will face an uphill battle when it reaches the Democratically controlled Senate.

Separately, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee favorably reported legislation to reauthorize the diesel emissions reduction program for five years and the House Energy and Commerce Committee favorably reported the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act, which would restrict a state’s ability to limit the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines. This comes after the EPA allowed California to set its own heavy-duty truck emissions standards—something that would be blocked if this bill becomes law.

While Members of Congress and their teams were packing up for the next month, several trucking and truck-related groups came to Washington to catch members before they left town. The group, which included members of the American Trucking Association, National Association of Truck Stop Operators, and National Motor Freight Traffic Association, met with the White House to encourage the Administration to invest more in charging infrastructure for EV trucks and they also met with members of the House and Senate to urge repeal of the federal excise tax on trucks and trailers. They also discussed the EPA’s emissions rulemaking.

With August recess upon us, we expect news out of Congress to grind to a halt, but that doesn’t mean the Administration is shutting down, and we’ll continue to monitor all developments and keep you apprised over the coming week.