Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed the Veterans Expanded Trucking Opportunities Act (H.R. 2547), legislation introduced by Congressman Rob Woodall (R-GA) and Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA).
“Increasing veterans’ access to jobs is vital and one of my top priorities,” said Rep. Brownley. “As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I constantly hear from industry about the need for new truck drivers, who are critical to moving goods and keeping our economy rolling. This bill will help address both these problems and I am pleased the Veterans Expanded Trucking Opportunities Act passed Committee. I look forward to working with my colleague, Mr. Woodall, to further advance the bill and get it to the President’s desk.”
“The original VETOPPS Act was a direct response to a bureaucratic problem standing in the way of our veterans being able to quickly return to work and support their families,” said Rep. Woodall. “I was proud to lead in the effort that resulted in a solution becoming the law of the land, but when we see ways to improve upon the ways we’re serving veterans even further, we absolutely want to seize that opportunity. That’s what H.R. 2547 is all about, and I’m grateful to Chairman Shuster, Ranking Member DeFazio, Rep. Brownley, and my colleagues on this committee for their support.”
The trucking industry faces a dire need for new drivers in order to meet the demands of the economy and flow of commercial goods. Veterans provide an ideal applicant pool with the qualities and experience to meet those needs. H.R. 2547 allows more veterans to enter this industry by making it easier and less costly to get the proper qualifying examinations they need.
Section 5403 of the FAST Act, which Woodall and Brownley previously worked on together, allowed VA physicians to access the National Registry for Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) to conduct DOT physicals. This allows veterans who want a commercial drivers’ license (CDL) to go to their VA doctor, instead of having to find a private-sector physician, to fill out the necessary medical forms.
H.R. 2547 expands the original law to allow other VA medical professionals to be eligible to participate in the program. It will now include advanced practice nurse, doctor of chiropractic, doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, physician assistant, or other medical professional.
The bill was passed out of committee by voice vote.