An amendment to the 5-year transportation bill lawmakers are mulling over that increases the permissible weight limits for trucks hauling milk has the support of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA).
The bipartisan amendment—which supporters say would benefit producers, processors and consumers—is sponsored by US Reps. Richard Hanna of New York and Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut and championed by House Transportation Committee Conferee Rep. Reid Ribble of Wisconsin. Specifically, the amendment gives states the option to issue permits allowing milk haulers to increase their truck weights beyond Interstate Highway System limits. This would allow milk trucks in some states to carry more product without being forced to offload portions of it at other state borders.
“This amendment recognizes the specific challenges in transporting milk,” says Jim Mulhern, NMPF president and CEO. “It’s great to see bipartisan support for something so critical to our dairy producers.”
Both IDFA and NMPF urge Congress to pass the report so that it can reach President Barack Obama’s desk by the Dec. 4 deadline.
Both the House and Senate reached an agreement on the proposed $281 billion transportation bill Tuesday. The bill increases transportation spending and addresses crucial repairs and expansions of the nation’s congested and aging roadways.