Here we are, day 31 of the partial government shutdown, which is on record to be the longest shutdown in history. While there are many political opinions floating around, we should all agree that people are affected by the choices of our elected officials. Politics aside, what are the actual facts and how does a government shutdown affect the trucking and logistics industry? We’ve outlined a few common questions about the government shutdown and how it could affect you, your drivers, and the trucking industry.
What does this even mean? What is a government shutdown?
Many federal agencies rely on funding appropriations (basically a fancy word for budget) by congress. A government shutdown happens when these appropriation bills are not agreed upon and passed within the legislature. Since Congress allowed the vote for these appropriations to “lapse,” President Trump declared a partial government shutdown until an agreement can be made. Bottom line- Lots of politics.. Not enough time. 5 appropriation bills yet to be agreed and approved.
FMCSA is a government entity, are they shutdown?
According to the Department of Transportation, the FMCSA office is not included in the government shutdown. Of the 1,158 FMCSA employees 0 have been (or will be) furloughed. The FMCSA will continue operations as normal with no suspended activities.
I drive over the border, how does the government shutdown affect my driving route?
The government shutdown shouldn’t affect your trucking route across the border. All border patrol stations are exempt from the government shutdown and will continue daily operations. However, some homeland security functions have caused delays. For example, you could experience delays at the borders due to staffing issues within TSA.
I have government related contracts. What should I do?
Check with your federal contracting officer to verify operations before accepting and/or delivering a load. Some contracting offices may be closed and will not be accepting or shipping loads. For example, if you provide fuel for border patrol vehicles to a fuel distribution site, the distribution site loading dock may not be open.
What about my logs?
Nothing has changed here. The ELD mandate is still in full affect and will be enforced by state law enforcement. Truckers will continue to be subject to roadside inspections and audits. To be prepared for a roadside inspection or audit, continue to use your FMCSA certified ELD systems. (Hint: if you are just using a mobile app to log your hours with no hardware, YOU ARE NOT compliant.) My20 ELD is FMCSA certified and compliant.
As always, there is uncertainty and confusion regarding government policies and procedures. As ELD experts, the My20 team remains at the top of trucking industry news. If you have questions about the shutdown or ELD mandate, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Drive Safe and #DriveLIFE.
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