The Congresswoman’s Bipartisan Bill Would Cut Red Tape for CDL Schools & Veterans They Serve
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A key Virginia organization representing trucking companies and fleet operators today backed U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger’s bipartisan bill to help more Virginia Veterans join the trucking workforce.
The Virginia Trucking Association — the only statewide organization in Virginia that provides full-time service and representation for the trucking industry — endorsed Spanberger’s Veteran Improvement Commercial Driver License Act. Her bipartisan legislation would cut red tape for veterans looking to use their GI benefits to pay for commercial driver’s license (CDL) education programs.
“Virginia has the fastest growing Veteran labor force in the United States, and the trucking industry offers them high-paying jobs when they leave military service,” said Dale Bennett, President & CEO, Virginia Trucking Association. “This bipartisan legislation will improve access to the CDL training Veterans need to quickly enter the trucking workforce and continue their service to our country as professional truck drivers.”
“When our servicemembers transition to civilian life, America needs to follow through on its promises to those who have borne the battle. But right now, thousands of Veterans across the country are forced to wait before they can use their GI benefits to cover the costs of the CDL education programs they need to hit the road,” said Spanberger. “During National Military Appreciation Month, we have an opportunity to redouble our support for America’s Veterans — and that means not only recognizing their service, but also making sure they have the benefits, resources, and job opportunities they’ve earned. I want to thank the Virginia Trucking Association for recognizing the importance of supporting our Veterans and making this commonsense fix.”
Currently, if an approved trucking school opens a secondary facility in a new location, existing laws require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and state regulators to deny the branch’s ability to receive GI benefits for two years.
To shrink this wait time, Spanberger’s Veteran Improvement Commercial Driver License Act would exempt new branches of established commercial driver-training facilities from this statutory waiting period — if the primary training facility has been approved to receive these benefits by the VA and state approving agencies. By clarifying this two-year moratorium statute, the bill would allow veterans more accessibility to nearby CDL schools and lead to high-paying careers in the industry. Spanberger co-led the bill’s introduction last week.
Spanberger has consistently worked to address the trucking workforce shortage in Virginia and across the country. In March 2023, Spanberger reintroduced her bipartisan bill to establish a refundable income tax credit for qualified commercial truck drivers.
And since arriving in Congress, Spanberger has been committed to honoring the sacrifices of Virginia’s Veterans — while also making sure they have the resources, training, and skills they need to succeed in the workplace. Last year, the President signed into law Spanberger’s Computers for Veterans and Students Act. This new law provides federal surplus and repairable computers to non-profit computer refurbishers — who can then repair and distribute these computers to Veterans, students, and seniors in need.