News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) - Today, the United States Senate passed a Supplemental spending bill that requires the Bush Administration to meet requirements for fairness and safety before it can implement its plan to open the U.S. border to long-haul Mexican trucks.



The requirements are:

"(1) granting such authority is first tested as part of a pilot program;

(2) such pilot program complies with the requirements of section 350 of Public Law 107-87 and the requirements of section 31315(c) of title 49, United States Code, related to pilot programs; and

(3) simultaneous and comparable authority to operate within Mexico is made available to motor carriers domiciled in the United States."


In February, the Bush Administration announced that it was proceeding with a pilot project to allow 100 Mexican carriers into the U.S. However, the Administration did not intend to meet the requirements for pilot projects under the Motor Carrier Safety Law. The bill passed today requires the Bush Administration to conduct its pilot project under those rules, which require the publication of a comprehensive public safety plan, public comment on that plan, and a demonstration that the pilot project actually improves highway safety.



In addition, under the Bush Administration's plan, Mexican trucks would have been allowed to operate long-haul routes in the United States, but U.S. trucks would have faced delays of at least six months in accessing the Mexican market. The bill requires that U.S. carriers be given "simultaneous and comparable" access to Mexico.



These requirements are part of an amendment written by U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), and Byron Dorgan (D-ND), which was included in H.R.1591 (the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act of 2007).



The Act passed the Senate today 51-46 with Murray's support. The bill is now headed to the President, who has said he will veto it over its language on the Iraq War.



NOTE: Below is the text on Mexican trucks from the Supplemental. It appears in Section 4901.



"SEC. 4901. Hereafter, funds limited or appropriated for the Department of Transportation may be obligated or expended to grant authority to a Mexican motor carrier to operate beyond United States municipalities and commercial zones on the United States-Mexico border only to the extent that—

(1) granting such authority is first tested as part of a pilot program;

(2) such pilot program complies with the requirements of section 350 of Public Law 107-87and the requirements of section 31315(c) of title 49, United States Code, related to pilot programs; and

(3) simultaneous and comparable authority to operate within Mexico is made available to motor carriers domiciled in the United States."