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Marco Rubio Joins Ted Yoho in a Bipartisan Effort to Reform Regulations on Transporting Livestock

May 3, 2019 - 8:45pm
Marco Rubio and Ted Yoho
Marco Rubio and Ted Yoho

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has teamed up fellow Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. to champion the  “Transporting Livestock Across America Safely (TLAAS) Act,” which reforms federal regulation on how haulers transport livestock across the country by changing the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations for livestock haulers. 

Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Florida, along with Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., are taking the lead on the proposal in the House. 

Rubio weighed in on the bill this week. 

“Florida’s livestock and agriculture industry play a critical role in our state’s economy,” Rubio said. “This important, bipartisan legislation will ensure that burdensome regulation from Washington bureaucrats doesn’t put this industry at risk.”

“Agriculture drives Nebraska, and nobody works harder to ensure the safety and well-being of livestock than the Nebraskans who hustle day in and day out,” said Sasse who introduced the bill earlier this week. “Overly strict regulations are hurting our ranchers and our haulers. My legislation pushes back against those dumb regulations and works to promote safe transportation. This is good, reasonable, common-sense, bipartisan legislation — and it should pass so we can give Nebraskans the flexibility they need to keep livestock safe and to keep our state running and feeding the world.”

More than 15 senators from both sides of the aisle are cosponsoring the bill. A host of groups including the  National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association and the Livestock Marketing Association are backing the proposal. The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee this week. 

Back in June, Yoho, who sits on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, teamed up with Peterson to bring out the bill which reforms federal regulation on how haulers transport livestock across the country by changing the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations for haulers of livestock. With Peterson back as the main cosponsor, Yoho reintroduced the bill at the start of the year. 

“The safe transportation of livestock is an essential part of feeding America,” Yoho said back in January. "Hours of Service regulations are rigid and costly for haulers. They also place the wellbeing and welfare of cattle, hogs, fish, and other livestock at risk. Extended stops for a hauler, which would be necessitated by these HOS regulations, are especially dangerous for livestock during summer or winter months. TLAAS will make the right modifications to current regulations, so we protect the safety of both haulers and livestock in route to their destination.”

Kevin Kester, the president of the NCBA, threw his support behind the proposal. 

“On behalf of America’s cattle producers, I want to thank Congressman Yoho for once again taking a leadership role in working towards delivering certainty and common sense for our nation’s livestock haulers. The current Hours of Service rules for livestock haulers remain very problematic for our industry and can often jeopardize the health and well-being of our animals. The Transporting Livestock Across America Safely (TLAAS) Act would finally address this situation, and we hope that Congress passes this legislation as soon as possible,” Kester said. 

“Hours of Service regulations are rigid and costly for haulers,” Yoho’s office noted back in June when he first unveiled it. “They also place the wellbeing and welfare of cattle, hogs, fish, and other livestock at risk. The current law does not allow flexibility for livestock to reach their destination given the vast geography of production and processing facilities, most often spanning from coastal states to the Midwest. Extended stops for a hauler, which would be necessitated by these HOS regulations, are especially dangerous for livestock during summer or winter months.”

Yoho and Peterson rounded up more than 25 cosponsors of the bill including Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Neal Dunn and Dan Webster. The bill was sent to the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure.

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