Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Veterans Expanded Trucking Opportunities Act (H.R. 2547), legislation introduced by Congressman Rob Woodall (R-GA) and Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) that would make it easier for veterans to return to the civilian workforce by removing bureaucratic barriers to employment in the trucking industry.
“We need to do more to ensure our veterans are able to successfully transition back to the civilian workforce and support their families when they come home,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “This bill helps fulfill the trucking industry’s need for skilled, capable drivers by removing bureaucratic barriers for our veterans who are qualified and ready to enter this field of work. I am pleased to see this bill advance to the Senate, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this to the President’s desk.”
“Things are getting done in Washington on a variety of fronts, but none make me more proud than what we’re achieving across the aisle for our veterans,” said Congressman Woodall. “Just last week we saw the Veterans Accountability Act signed into law following enormous bipartisan support, and now this much more targeted measure to help our veterans quickly return to work has moved that much closer to becoming law as well. I’m proud to lead in this effort, and I’m grateful to Chairman Shuster, Rep. Brownley, and all my House colleagues for their support.”
The trucking industry needs to hire new drivers in order to meet the demands of the economy and ensure the timely delivery 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 physical 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 driver’s 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.