WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) led 16 other representatives today in introducing the Supplying America Needs Truckers Aged 18 Act, or SANTA 18 Act, which would eliminate unnecessary red tape and restrictions to allow more truckers to keep the supply chain flowing.
“Joe Biden’s supply chain crisis is driving prices up and delivery times down just as we approach the holiday season, and sadly, reindeer aren’t going to magically fix this problem,” Rep. Mast said. “To make matters worse, there is unnecessary government red tape preventing companies from implementing logical solutions to this problem. This bill would cut that red tape to get more drivers on the road in time for holiday deliveries.”
While many states allow truckers between the ages of 18 to 20 to transport within the state, any transportation across the state boundaries - or interstate transportation - requires that the trucker is at least 21 years old per federal law. Picking up goods from a port is interpreted as interstate transportation even if the port is located in the same state as the distribution center or the final location. This precludes 18 to 20-year-olds from transporting cargo coming off of ships at overloaded ports, even if they have a commercial driver’s license and drive semi-trucks elsewhere within their state.
The SANTA 18 Act would eliminate this logistical hurdles in order to maximize the labor force in the United States during the supply chain crisis leading up to Christmas.
In October, President Biden decided to open some West Coast ports 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in response to the supply chain crisis. The data showed the operation to be ineffective due to the lack of truckers showing up to collect cargo. By passing the SANTA 18 Act, more truckers will be empowered to keep supplies moving all across the United States in time for Christmas.
Rep. Mast was joined by 16 other Members of Congress: Rep. Scott Perry (PA-10), Rep. Randy Weber (TX-14), Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH-07), Rep. Tom Tiffany (WI-07), Rep. Tom McClintock (CA-02), Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02), Rep. Rick Allen (GA-12), Rep. Claudia Tenney (NY-22), Rep. Russ Fulcher (ID-01), Rep. Carlos Gimenez (FL-26), Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Rep. David McKinley (WV-01), Rep. Troy Balderson (OH-12), Rep. Ashley Hinson (IA-01), Rep. Steve Womack (AR-03), and Rep. Adrian Smith (NE-03).
The full text of the legislation can be read here.