Trucking industry-backed measure would permit longer tandem trucks on US highways

IndustrialsAssociated Press

A trucking industry-backed bid to allow longer tandem trucks on the nation's highways has been approved by a Senate committee over opposition from safety advocates and most Democrats — and the panel's GOP chairman.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the change, sought by the American Trucking Associations and large haulers such as FedEx Corp., which would increase the permitted length of trailers hauled in tandem from 28 to 33 feet.

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The 16-14 vote attached the legislation to a $56 billion spending measure to finance transportation and housing programs. But the bill faces a White House veto threat and a likely filibuster if GOP leaders try to bring it to the Senate floor. Panel chair Thad Cochran, a Mississippi Republican, opposed the tandem truck amendment.