Last week, fifteen Republican governors signed onto “Operation Open Roads,” an initiative to combat the driver shortage and address supply chain disruptions.
The group is led by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, and includes Governors Doug Ducey (AZ), Mike DeWine (OH), Kevin Stitt (OK), Ron DeSantis (FL), Brian Kemp (GA), Brad Little (ID), Mike Parson (MO), Greg Gianforte (MT), Kim Reynolds (IA), Larry Hogan (MD), Pete Ricketts (NE), Doug Burgum (ND), Henry McMaster (SC), and Greg Abbott (TX).
In a joint letter to President Joe Biden, the GOP leaders call for fewer “burdensome” federal regulations in the trucking industry. And they are signing executive orders to make it happen.
“Higher gas prices and energy costs not only hurt American families, but they also hurt our trucking and shipping industries, making it harder to stock store shelves,” the letter says. “Problems are exacerbated by critical shortages in containers, chassis, and drivers to unload and move goods. Once again, where the Biden Administration has failed the American people, our governors will step up to lead.”
The letter encourages the Biden administration to:
- Lower some CDL age requirements from 21 to 18
- Suspend federal policies that deter American manufacturing
- End COVID-19 vaccine mandates for private businesses in the industry
- Cease inflation-inducing federal spending
Lee’s executive order directed the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to study Tennessee laws that “unduly burden” CDL drivers, Melissa Brown reported for the Tennessean. He also directed the Department of Military and Department of Corrections to promote CDL training and certification for former military and incarcerated individuals who will be re-entering the work force.
“From coastal ports to inland ports to road and rail, our states can take action to address workforce shortages and prevent bottlenecks, logjams, and other transportation issues,” the letter says. “For consumers and industry alike, we must strengthen and support America’s supply chain.”