A House transportation subcommittee is circulating a truckiing bill prepared by the staff that would not go as far as a Senate-passed measure in reducing regulation of the industry, source said yesterday.
The measure is likely to serve as the vehicle for a mark-up scheduled by the Surface Transportation subcommittee on May 20, they said.
While proclaiming, as does the Senate bill, that the national policy is to promote more competition in trucking, the House draft drops two important Senate-passed deregulatory provisions.
One of the mission provisions would shift all other food products to the raw agricultural products that are now totally exempt from regulation by the Interstate Commerce Commission, and currently being hauled at lower rates that regulated products.
The House staff draft also would not go as far as the Senate bill does in restricting the rate bureaus used by the trucking industry to decide collectively on the rates they will charge the public. The Senate measure eliminates within three years the rate bureaus' legal right to discuss and vote upon single-line rates. Single-line shipments are those a company picks up and delivers on its own without transferring the goods to another company. The House draft eliminates their right to "vote" but not their right to "discuss" the rates, a separation antitrusters argue is impractical and would not lead to competitively set rates.
The mark-up, which subcommittee chairman James J. Howard (D-N.J.) originally promised for the week after the Senate measure passed in mid-April, was set for May 20 to allow him to go to Europe next week.
Howard's staff aides say the congressman will visit two bus producers in Germany and one in Hungary to encourage them to look at a plant in his district that Ford Motor Co. will be abandoning next month as a possible U.S. production site. Another reason for his visit is to encourage them to locate assembly plants here to avoid increased "buy America" legislation.
A mark-up for the full committee is scheduled to May 22 if the subcommittee finishes as scheduled.