CBS19: Reintroduced bill looks to address truck driver shortage

CBS19

Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger has teamed up with a Republican from Wisconsin to again try to address a shortage of commercial truck drivers.

Spanberger and Congressman Mike Gallagher have reintroduced legislation to create a refundable income tax credit for qualified commercial truck drivers.

According to a release, the Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act would provide a short-term incentive to attract and retain new drivers.

In 2021, trucking companies across the country saw a record deficit of drivers, down about 80,000, due to challenges in hiring and retaining them.

The release says trucking companies have been struggling to hire drivers without offering bonuses or increased wages.

Additionally, the median age of drivers is currently between 51 and 52 years old, compounding the shortage.

The shortage has been impacting consumers across the country by increasing shipping costs and delays in deliveries.

This bill would create a two-year refundable tax credit of up to $7,500 for truck drivers who hold a valid Class A commercial driver’s license and who drive at least 1,900 hours in a year.

And it would work to get more CDL drivers on the road by creating new incentives for people entering registered trucking apprenticeship programs.

“During the pandemic, truckers didn’t have any remote options — yet they went to work every single day to keep our economy moving and our communities strong. Our country needs to step up and recognize their hard work — and we need to encourage more Americans to enter this industry,” said Spanberger. “Throughout Virginia, I hear about the need to address our chronic truck driver shortage. Our bipartisan bill would help bring more drivers into the fold, keep them on the highway, and reward them for their loyalty. I want to thank Congressman Gallagher for his continued partnership on this legislation, and I look forward to seeing more young Americans hop in the driver’s seat.”

“The truck driving industry is facing a massive workforce shortage that’s disrupting nearly every aspect of our supply chains,” said Gallagher. “We need to encourage more young men and women to join this career path, and this bipartisan bill is a common sense way to recruit and retain more drivers to keep our shelves stocked and our economy moving.”

This bill was first introduced in April 2022.

To read the full legislation, click here.

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