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106th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    106-333

======================================================================



 
                    MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ACT OF 1999

                                _______


 September 24, 1999.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Shuster, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2679]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 2679) to amend title 49, United 
States Code, to establish the National Motor Carrier 
Administration in the Department of Transportation, to improve 
the safety of commercial motor vehicle operators and carriers, 
to strengthen commercial driver's licenses, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                              Introduction

    The Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1999 (MCSA '99), H.R. 2679, 
is a comprehensive bill designed to improve truck and bus 
safety by strengthening Federal and State safety programs. The 
specific purposes of the bill are to: improve the 
administration of the Federal motor carrier safety program; 
establish a National Motor Carrier Administration in the 
Department of Transportation (DOT); and reduce the number and 
severity of large truck-involved crashes through more 
commercial motor vehicle and operator inspections and motor 
carrier compliance reviews, stronger enforcement measures 
against violators, expedited completion of rulemaking 
proceedings, scientifically sound research, and effective 
commercial driver's license testing, recordkeeping and 
sanctions.
    H.R. 2679 is the result of extensive hearings conducted by 
the Subcommittee on Ground Transportation throughout the past 
year. At the hearings, the Subcommittee heard testimony from 
the General Accounting Office, the DOT Office of the Inspector 
General, U.S. DOT, highway safety advocates, representatives of 
the truck and bus industries, and organized labor, assessing 
the current state of motor carrier safety and identifying a 
wide range of ways to improve safety. The Committee also worked 
with staff and officials at the Department of Transportation to 
identify ways to improve truck and bus safety. The committee 
concluded that there were a number of deficiencies with the 
commercial driver's license program and the Federal motor 
carrier safety program that Congress should address through 
legislation.
    Among the issues the Committee examined in the hearings was 
the proper location of the Office of Motor Carriers within the 
Department of Transportation. In 1998, during the 
appropriations process, the House Appropriations Committee 
reported the FY99 Transportation Appropriations Bill with a 
provision to transfer the OMC from the Federal Highway 
Administration to the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration (NHTSA). This was a legislative provision within 
the jurisdiction of the Transportation and Infrastructure 
Committee and it was removed from the bill. At that time, the 
Committee agreed to thoroughly review the matter and hold 
comprehensive hearings on motor carrier safety and the proper 
location of OMC within DOT. The Committee has concluded that, 
although improvements are needed, a transfer of the OMC to 
NHTSA is not warranted. Instead, as discussed below, H.R. 2679 
creates a National Motor Carrier Administration to oversee 
motor carrier safety.

                THE FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY PROGRAM

    The Federal motor carrier safety regulations govern the 
motor carrier safety assistance grant program, the size and 
weight of vehicles traveling over major highways, the 
regulations for drivers obtaining commercial driver's licenses, 
standards for equipment and driver operations including hours-
of-service, and rules for drug andalcohol testing and vehicle 
registration. Motor carrier safety regulations are set by the 
Department of Transportation through administrative rulemaking 
procedures.
    Both Federal and State inspectors are responsible for 
ensuring compliance with the regulations. The primary methods 
for doing so are roadside inspections and compliance reviews. 
Roadside inspections of trucks, buses, and their drivers are 
primarily conducted by the States. Of the 2.1 million roadside 
inspections conducted in 1996, only 11,000 were conducted by 
Federal inspectors. Federal inspectors have concentrated on 
compliance reviews, which consist of in-depth reviews of a 
motor carrier company at its place of business. In a compliance 
review, trained investigators assess a motor carrier's 
compliance with safety regulations by reviewing their vehicle 
maintenance and driver files (including driver qualification 
files and driver log books). The compliance review results in 
an overall rating of the motor carrier, as well as 
recommendations for improvements. In 1998, OMC conducted 
approximately 4,400 compliance reviews (an average of fewer 
than two compliance reviews per month per safety investigator). 
The States performed about 2,050 compliance reviews during FY 
1998. These reviews equate to performance of a compliance 
review for less than two percent of the almost 500,000 
interstate motor carriers in operation in 1998.
    The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA 
21), which was enacted in 1998, contains a number of provisions 
that are intended to strengthen motor carrier safety and 
enforcement efforts. DOT was given the expanded authority to 
shut down any carrier that fails to meet safety fitness 
requirements (previously this had applied only to carriers of 
hazardous materials and passengers). Civil penalties for motor 
carrier violations have also been raised to be more consistent 
with other modes and have been restructured to improve their 
effectiveness. TEA 21 established a $10,000 maximum for all 
non-recordkeeping violations. With respect to imposing civil 
penalties on an employee, TEA 21 removed the qualifying 
conditions and gross negligence standard and capped such 
penalties at $2,500. TEA 21 directed DOT to investigate the 
issue of shippers who pressure carriers to violate safety 
regulations in order to receive shipments more quickly or 
cheaply (a major complaint on the part of carriers). DOT is to 
send an implementation plan to Congress reflecting the results 
of the assessment.

                       THE MOTOR CARRIER INDUSTRY

    The motor carrier industry is a large, complex, and diverse 
sector of the American economy. DOT estimates that the motor 
carrier industry consists of over 500,000 interstate truck and 
bus companies, 7 million registered vehicles, and over 9 
million commercial drivers. In 1997, the industry collected 
$372 billion in gross freight revenues representing 81 percent 
of the nation's freight bill, moved 6.7 billion tons of freight 
representing 60 percent of total domestic tonnage shipped, and 
logged 1,051 billion ton miles representing 29 percent of total 
domestic inter-city ton miles.

                     THE OVER-THE-ROAD BUS INDUSTRY

    According to the Department of Transportation, there are 
about 13,000 U.S. bus companies, travelling 25 billion miles 
per year, covered under Federal motor carrier safety 
regulations, and 33,000 bus driver and vehicle inspections 
conducted annually with Federal funds. Statistically, 
commercial buses stand up better under inspection than do other 
commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). Nationwide, during fiscal 
year 1998, 10 percent of commercial buses and 2 percent of 
commercial bus drivers were taken out of service for serious 
safety violations after inspection, whereas the national out-
of-service rate is 20 percent for all commercial motor vehicles 
and 8 percent for all CMV drivers.
    Of the 37,000 fatal crashes resulting in nearly 42,000 
deaths nationwide in 1997, 32 were fatal commercial bus crashes 
resulting in 41 deaths. An average of six fatalities per year 
(between 1993 and 1997) were bus occupants. Other fatalities 
were passenger car occupants, bicyclists or pedestrians.

                CRASH RATES AND CRASH CAUSATION FACTORS

    After decreasing by 27 percent between 1988 and 1992, the 
large truck-involved \1\ fatal crash rate has leveled off since 
1992 at about 2.9 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles 
traveled. While the rate has remained constant during this time 
period (1992-1998), the annual number of vehicle miles traveled 
by large trucks increased by nearly 25 percent. Therefore, the 
actual number of fatalities from crashes involving large trucks 
grew from a historical low of 4,462 in 1992 to 5,398 in 1997--a 
20 percent increase since 1992--with a slight drop to 5,374 in 
1998. In 1998 there were also 127,000 injuries involving large 
trucks. If truck travel continues to grow at its current rate 
and nothing is done to reduce the fatality rate, the General 
Accounting Office has estimated that the annual number of 
fatalities could increase to 5,800 in 1999 and to more than 
6,000 in 2000.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Large trucks are trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of 
more than 10,000 pounds.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Problems with the availability and reliability of data on 
the causes of large truck crashes have made lowering the crash 
rate and the number of crashes extremely difficult. In fact, 
there is no clear explanation as to why the number of large 
truck fatal crashes declined during the 1980's and why it 
reversed course and increased after 1992. The principal goal of 
H.R. 2679 is to reduce the number and severity of large truck-
involved fatal crashes.
    While there is no consensus on the causes of large truck 
crashes, several contributing factors have been identified. 
They include errors by car drivers and truck drivers, truck 
driver fatigue, vehicle defects or mechanical failures, seat 
belt violations, speed, highway design standards, and traffic 
congestion. Errors by car drivers are the most commonly cited 
contributing factor in fatal car/truck crashes. But drawing the 
inference that car drivers are more often at fault in such 
crashes is controversial; safetygroups note that the truck 
drivers are more likely than car drivers to survive car/truck crashes 
and be able to tell their version of how the crash occurred. Also, all 
of these contributing factors were identified from accident reports 
prepared by police officers responding to the crashes, before any in-
depth analysis or investigation of the crashes had occurred. There are 
also inconsistencies in reporting data and differences in reporting 
requirements between the States. Many groups, including the General 
Accounting Office, the American Automobile Association, and others have 
called for the Federal government to conduct a comprehensive study to 
determine the causes of crashes that involve commercial motor vehicles.

               THE NATIONAL MOTOR CARRIER ADMINISTRATION

    Since 1967, when the function was transferred to DOT from 
the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), the Federal Highway 
Administration (FHWA) has been responsible for administering 
the Federal motor carrier safety program. The FHWA is also 
responsible for overseeing the more than $30 billion/year 
Federal-aid highway construction and maintenance program.
    There has been considerable debate concerning the proper 
organizational placement of the motor carrier safety function. 
There are three basic proposals. The first option is to keep 
the function with the FHWA but to strengthen the organization 
by establishing one or more new leadership positions in the 
agency devoted exclusively to motor carrier safety. The second 
proposal is to transfer the whole motor carrier function to the 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The 
final option proposed is to create a separate agency within the 
U.S. Department of Transportation.
    The Committee carefully considered all three of these 
options, each of which had its strengths and weaknesses. In 
four hearings the Subcommittee on Ground Transportation held on 
motor carrier safety, several witnesses addressed this 
organizational placement issue.

Strengthen motor carrier function within FHWA

    Former Committee Chairman Norman Y. Mineta testified on the 
results of his independent review of motor carrier safety, 
conducted at the request of DOT Secretary Rodney Slater. Mineta 
made eight recommendations to improve the Department's delivery 
of the motor carrier safety program and to reduce both the 
number and rate of truck-involved crashes and fatalities. He 
recommended that DOT make a number of programmatic reforms: 
increase the number of compliance reviews and other enforcement 
efforts, increase southern border crossing safety inspections, 
issue overdue motor carrier regulations, improve safety data 
and information systems, create motor carrier entry 
requirements, create new driver licensing training and testing 
programs and improve driver record reporting systems, step-up 
truck and bus crash avoidance initiatives.
    Finally, Mr. Mineta concluded that several organizational/
management improvements were needed to ensure that motor 
carrier safety received the resources it needed and the 
priority it deserved within the Department. These improvements 
were to raise the level of motor carrier safety functions 
within the Federal Highway Administration by such measures as: 
establishing a separate Deputy Administrator for Motor Carrier 
Safety and an Executive Director for Motor Carrier Safety, 
using performance-based systems for managing all motor carrier 
safety programs and functions within the Department, increasing 
staffing for critical motor carrier safety functions, and 
reconstituting the former motor carrier safety advisory 
committee.
    Conversely, in testimony presented to the Subcommittee, the 
Department's Inspector General expressed concern that leaving 
responsibility for motor carrier safety within the FHWA makes 
it difficult for the program to receive the priority it merits. 
FHWA's mission has been primarily focused on highway 
infrastructure construction and maintenance, as the agency 
oversees the large Federal-aid highway program. This mission 
demands a significant amount of attention by FHWA managers, and 
the Inspector General believes that motor carrier safety often 
seems subordinate to this large infrastructure program.

Transfer motor carrier safety function to NHTSA

    Another option considered was the transfer of the Office of 
Motor Carriers to NHTSA. NHTSA is the agency within the United 
States Department of Transportation responsible for automobile 
safety.
    At the Subcommittee hearings, the Advocates for Highway and 
Auto Safety, the Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways 
(CRASH), and Parents Against Tired Truckers testified in 
support of transferring the Office of Motor Carriers to NHTSA.
    The Inspector General, however, testified that moving OMC 
to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 
may not be the answer. While NHTSA's primary mission is highway 
safety, it does not now have a sufficient enforcement role or 
adequate field office structure needed to effectively monitor 
the motor carrier industry.
    There is also a concern that merging NHTSA and OMC would 
shift motor carrier resources to automobile safety issues 
currently under NHTSA's jurisdiction. The opposite situation, 
redirecting resources from auto safety to motor carrier safety, 
is also a concern for some stakeholders. NHTSA also has no 
experience in directing a large enforcement field staff.

Create a separate motor carrier administration

    Creating a separate agency within the Department of 
Transportation is the final option that was considered. 
Creating such an agency to oversee motor carrier safety would 
mirror the organization of the remainder of the Department of 
Transportation, whichgenerally has an Administration for each 
of the major modes of transportation. For example, there are 
Administrations established to oversee railroads, aviation, transit, 
pipelines, and ocean shipping. Even though the motor carrier industry 
is larger than any other mode of transportation, responsibility for 
motor carriers remains at the Federal Highway Administration.
    At the Subcommittee hearings, the following groups 
testified in support of establishing a separate motor carrier 
administration: American Trucking Associations, National 
Private Truck Council, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 
Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, Owner Operator Independent 
Drivers Association, and Independent Truckers and Drivers 
Association, and the American Bus Association. Several of these 
groups argued that the size and influence of the trucking 
industry in the national economy (truck movements account for 
more than 80 percent of the Nation's freight bill) warrant the 
establishment of a separate modal administration within the 
Department of Transportation. The Inspector General also 
testified that creating a separate agency was the option most 
likely to be in the long term interest of public safety.
    Under the current organizational arrangement, motor carrier 
safety must compete for the attention of FHWA leadership and 
resources with the massive highway infrastructure program, and, 
at times, motor carrier safety has not received the attention 
it deserves. At a time of enormous growth in the trucking 
industry, the Department has actually reduced the number of 
employees within the FHWA assigned to motor carrier functions 
and conducted fewer compliance reviews of carriers. This 
situation supports the option of creating an agency with a 
clear, preeminent safety mission, free of the need to compete 
with other missions of the Department of Transportation.

H.R. 2679

    Based on the testimony presented to the Subcommittee and 
studies conducted by the General Accounting Office and the DOT 
Inspector General, the Committee concluded that a separate 
agency would be the best option and adopted it in the bill.
    The structure of the new National Motor Carrier 
Administration established in the bill is modeled on the other 
modal administrations in the Department of Transportation. It 
would have an Administrator and a Deputy Administrator that 
would be political appointees. The Administration would also 
have a Chief Safety Officer selected from the career civil 
service. This position is modeled on the Chief Engineer, or 
Executive Director, at the Federal Highway Administration. In 
designating the third-ranking official of the new 
Administration as ``the Chief Safety Officer'', the Committee 
does not intend to diminish or detract from the paramount 
safety responsibilities of either the Administrator or Deputy 
Administrator. Rather, a Chief Safety Officer selected from the 
career civil service will help assure continuity of leadership 
within the new Administration to ensure that safety does remain 
the highest priority. The regulatory process at the new 
Administration would be managed by a Regulatory Ombudsman 
selected from the career civil service.
    The bill follows the model of the Federal Aviation Act of 
1958, which established the Federal Aviation Administration to 
improve aviation safety. The bill directs the new National 
Motor Carrier Administration to consider the assignment and 
maintenance of safety as the highest priority, recognizing the 
clear intent, encouragement, and dedication of Congress to the 
furtherance of the highest degree of safety in motor carrier 
transportation.

     INCREASED FUNDING FOR MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

    TEA 21 authorized a total of $579 million ($100 million in 
FY 1999) for the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program 
(MCSAP) for State enforcement of Federal truck and bus safety 
requirements or compatible State requirements. MCSAP funds are 
used for roadside inspections, traffic safety and vehicle size 
and weight enforcement, compliance reviews, outreach and 
education and other similar activities. The MCSAP program was 
established in 1983.
    In order to receive a full grant under the MCSAP program, a 
State must conform its motor carrier safety laws and 
regulations to Federal requirements. If a State's laws and 
regulations are not in conformity, DOT may withhold a portion 
of that State's MCSAP funding.
    A major part of motor carrier enforcement is carried out at 
the State, not the Federal, level through roadside truck 
inspections. More than two million roadside inspections were 
conducted in 1998. The vast majority of these inspections were 
done by State inspectors who receive funding for inspections 
and other enforcement activities through MCSAP.
    H.R. 2679 increases funding for MCSAP by $550 million for 
the FY 2000 through FY 2003 time period. $250 million of this 
funding is provided as guaranteed funding under the budget 
firewalls established by TEA 21. The remainder would be 
available subject to obligation limits established through the 
annual appropriations process.
    The bill also provides for separate funding of operating 
expenses for the National Motor Carrier Administration. 
Currently a takedown of up to 1\1/2\ percent of Federal-aid 
highway funds may be used for the administrative expenses of 
the FHWA, including the motor carrier function. The bill sets 
aside \1/3\ of one percent for the new Administration and 1\1/
6\ for the FHWA. This level of funding will be sufficient to 
administer the Federal-aid highway program and allow for growth 
in the operations of the new Administration to about $90 
million annually from the FY1999 level of $55 million.

                            program reforms

    The Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1999 also addresses 
shortcomings and tightens loopholes in the commercial driver's 
license program. These CDL reforms are designed to address 
problems that have come to light as a result of DOT's CDL 
Effectiveness Study, recent truck and bus crashes, and other 
sources.
    On March 15, 1999, a tractor-trailer hauling steel through 
Illinois, collided with an Amtrak passenger train at a rail 
grade crossing in the town of Bourbonnais. The crash killed 14 
people. Though investigators have yet to formally assign blame 
for the collision, early reports describe a hurried truck 
driver trying to beat the oncoming train through the clearly-
marked intersection. Later it was revealed that the driver of 
the tractor-trailer had a thirty-year history of CDL 
suspensions, citations, and more than half a dozen accidents. 
Although the truck driver's license was suspended at the time 
of the crash, the State had issued him a provisional license 
and he was permitted to continue driving a truck. After serving 
a two month CDL suspension in June and July, the driver's 
license was reinstated by the Illinois Secretary of State on 
August 1, 1999.
    In a two-week period from late December 1998, to early 
January 1999, there were four serious bus accidents in the 
State of New Jersey: the first on December 24, 1998, in 
Sayreville; the second on December 27, 1998, in Edison 
Township; the third on December 28, 1998, in Wall Township; and 
the fourth on January 9, 1999, in Newark. In total more than 65 
people were injured and eight people were killed.
    More recently in LaPlace, Louisiana, on May 9, Mother's 
Day, a charter bus carrying dozens of senior citizens on a day 
trip to Mississippi, swerved off the road and into a concrete 
embankment, killing 22 people and injuring 20 others. The 
driver, who had a history of drug use and chronic health 
problems, entered the hospital following the accident with 
trace amounts of marijuana in his system, and subsequently 
died. The National Transportation Safety Board is conducting an 
investigation of the accident.
    These high profile accidents raised a number of concerns 
about the commercial driver's license program because they 
reveal a number of loopholes in the system, questionable 
practices, and recordkeeping/data deficiencies that have 
permitted unqualified and unsafe drivers to continue operating 
commercial motor vehicles. To combat these problems, this bill 
contains a number of CDL reforms that strengthen CDL 
disqualifying offenses and sanctions, enhance record keeping 
and data exchange, and prohibit unsafe practices. For example, 
the bill bans the practice of issuing temporary or provisional 
licenses, so when a driver's CDL is suspended, the driver must 
serve out the full term of the suspension without driving a 
CMV. The bill also imposes longer disqualification periods for 
violations that cause fatalities and requires States to improve 
their data systems.
    The Committee understands that the FHWA's Office of Motor 
Carriers intends to establish a voluntary medical registry 
program in fiscal year 2000. The Committee endorses the prompt 
establishment of such a program and believes that creating a 
voluntary national registry of medical examiners will help 
ensure that the doctors and other medical professionals 
authorized to conduct the required medical examinations of 
commercial motor vehicle operators meet the qualification 
standards for medical examiners set forth in 49 CFR 391.43(c). 
These medical examiners serve a critical role in preserving 
public health and safety, and a registry of such examiners will 
provide a reliable, national listing of medical professionals 
qualified to perform driver examinations.

                       Section-by-Section Summary


Section 1. Short title; table of contents

    Section 1 provides that this Act may be cited as the Motor 
Carrier Safety Act of 1999. This section also includes a table 
of contents of the bill.

Section 2. Findings

    Section 2 makes eight findings on motor carrier safety. 
Congress finds that the current rate, number, and severity of 
crashes involving motor carriers are unacceptable and, unless 
meaningful measures to improve safety are implemented 
expeditiously, the number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities 
will be even higher; and that the number of Federal and State 
motor carrier compliance reviews and commercial motor vehicle 
and operator inspections are too low and the number and size of 
civil penalties for violators must be sufficient to establish a 
credible deterrent to future violations. Congress further finds 
that wisely used additional funding and personnel are essential 
to the Department of Transportation's ability to improve its 
research, rulemaking, oversight, and enforcement activities.

Section 3. Purposes

    Section 3 lists the purposes of this Act as improving the 
administration of the Federal motor carrier safety program by 
establishing a National Motor Carrier Administration in the 
Department of Transportation and by enacting measures to reduce 
the number and severity of large truck-involved crashes through 
increased inspections and compliance reviews, stronger 
enforcement measures, expedited rulemakings, scientifically 
sound research, and improvements to the commercial driver's 
license program.

             Title I--National Motor Carrier Administration


Section 101. Establishment of National Motor Carrier Administration

    Subsection 101(a) adds a new section 113 to title 49, 
United States Code, to establish, as a separate administration 
within the Department of Transportation, the National Motor 
Carrier Administration, and requires that the Administration 
consider safety as the agency's highest priority.
    The Administration is headed by a Presidentially appointed, 
Senate confirmed Administrator; the Deputy Administrator is 
appointed by the Secretary with the approval of the President. 
The Chief Safety Officer is appointed in the competitive 
service. In addition to any duties and powers prescribed by the 
Secretary, the Administrator shall carry out the duties and 
powers related to motor carriers and motor carrier safety set 
forth in chapters 5, 51, 55, 57, 59, 133 through 149, 311, 313, 
and 315.
    Currently, the authority to carry out a number of these 
chapters is divided between two or more Administrations within 
the Department of Transportation or between the Department and 
the Surface Transportation Board. The bill does not change this 
division. For example, the Research and Special Programs 
Administration is responsible for issuing regulations governing 
the transportation of hazardous materials, but Federal and 
State motor carrier safety inspectors either directly employed 
by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) or whose salaries 
are paid through grants made by the FHWA are responsible for 
enforcing those hazardous materials regulations with respect to 
the motor carrier industry. This shared responsibility should 
continue. Only to the extent the duties and powers with respect 
to sections 5, 51, 55, 57, 59, 133 through 149, 311, 313, and 
315 are currently the responsibility of the Administrator of 
the Federal Highway Administration, are such duties and powers 
transferred to the Administrator of the National Motor Carrier 
Administration in this Act. The Committee also intends that 
infrastructure economic studies related to motor carriers, such 
as studies addressing the costs and benefits of revised sizes 
and weights of motor vehicles and the equitable allocation of 
highway costs among various vehicle classes, would be retained 
in and conducted by the Federal Highway Administration with 
appropriate coordination with and involvement of the National 
Motor Carrier Administration.
    Subsection (a) also includes a subsection in 49 U.S.C. 113 
providing that ``[i]n carrying out its duties, the 
Administrator shall consider the assignment and maintenance of 
safety as the highest priority.'' This subsection is modeled on 
provisions which govern the activities of the Federal Aviation 
Administration and the Secretary of Transportation's 
responsibilities for the economic regulation of air 
transportation. See 49 U.S.C. 40101(a)(1) & (d) and 49 U.S.C. 
47101(a)(1). The provision is intended to focus the attention 
of the new National Motor Carrier Administration on remedying 
the inadequacies in the current motor carrier safety program 
and improving safety. The Committee has received technical 
assistance from the Department of Transportation which raises a 
question whether the new section 113(b) could have the effect 
of superceding all Federal laws and directives that currently 
guide the Office of Motor Carriers in such areas as rulemakings 
and enforcement actions and removing all of the new 
Administration's discretion in safety regulation. The Committee 
believes that this technical assistance is not an accurate 
interpretation of the effect of new section 113(b) since it is 
inconsistent with the interpretation of the comparable aviation 
provisions, and the Committee intends that the new section 
113(b) be interpreted and implemented in the same manner as 
have the above-listed provisions in the laws governing 
aviation.
    To address the serious problem of overdue motor carrier 
safety rulemakings in the Department, subsection (a) also 
establishes a Regulatory Ombudsman in the National Motor 
Carrier Administration and requires the Administrator to 
delegate to the Ombudsman the decisionmaking and staffing 
authority needed to ensure that the Administration complies 
with statutory and departmental deadlines for rulemakings.
    For example, the rulemaking to establish procedures for 
sharing driver performance histories has been underway for 
almost five years. The development and implementation of this 
procedure is fundamental to a motor carrier's ability to assure 
the safety of its drivers. Other equally critical rulemakings, 
such as training standards for entry level drivers that was 
statutorily due by December 18, 1993, are years overdue.
    The Committee expects the Regulatory Ombudsman to address 
this situation. The Ombudsman should provide strong leadership, 
with the Secretary's and the Administrator's support, to 
complete rulemakings within internal and statutory timeframes. 
The Ombudsman should closely monitor the progress of each 
rulemaking proceeding to ensure that it moves expeditiously and 
efficiently by identifying causes of delay and impediments to 
decisionmaking and should remedy them. The Committee intends to 
closely monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of the 
rulemaking process in the new Administration.
    Subsection (a) also establishes offices of Passenger 
Vehicle Safety, Consumer Affairs, and International Affairs 
within the National Motor Carrier Administration. 
Representatives of bus industry and labor groups have 
repeatedly emphasized to the Committee that buses are 
fundamentally different from trucks, in terms of operators, 
equipment, travel and transport functions (e.g., moving people 
versus cargo), operating environment, and scheduling and 
driving patterns. Therefore, the bill provides that the 
National Motor Carrier Administration includes a separate 
passenger vehicle safety office dedicated exclusively to these 
and other unique bus-related issues.
    In a hearing of the Ground Transportation Subcommittee in 
August 1998, several witnesses testified on the need for 
improved enforcement by DOT of consumer protection laws against 
unscrupulous household goods movers. DOT acknowledged that the 
consumer fraud problems in this area were severe and testified 
on the efforts it was taking to better enforce current laws, 
including establishing a special household goods task force. 
The Committee expects the separate office of consumer affairs 
within the new Administration to build on these efforts by 
providing staff dedicated exclusively toconsumer protection 
issues, to advise consumers of their rights and potential remedies, 
provide guidance to Administration field staff in investigating 
potential abuses, and otherwise enforce consumer protections.
    The new Administration's Office of International Affairs 
will have primary responsibility for oversight of truck safety 
programs at U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada, in cooperation 
with affected States and the Federal Highway Administration. 
The programs will include highway safety infrastructure 
programs and other improvement programs relating to 
international border crossings and corridors, the development 
and implementation of appropriate staffing standards for 
Federal and State motor carrier safety inspectors in 
international border areas, and the distribution of border 
enforcement funding to implement the Motor Carrier Safety 
Assistance Program. In addition, the Office will develop 
procedures for the electronic transfer of data to foreign 
Governments, provide assistance in promoting motor carrier and 
highway safety procedures and technologies to other countries, 
monitor international motor carrier training programs for 
Federal, State and local agencies in areas of highway safety, 
drug interdiction, and judiciary programs, and provide 
technical assistance and resources to field offices to ensure 
the effective administration of international programs. The 
Office will consult with the Office of the Secretary on all 
motor carrier matters relating to the implementation of the 
North American Free Trade Agreement.
    Subsection (b) provides dedicated funding for the 
administrative and research expenses of the National Motor 
Carrier Administration. This subsection increases funding 70 
percent (an average of $38 million per year) above the level 
currently provided within the Federal Highway Administration, 
to improve the motor carrier safety research, rulemaking, 
oversight, and enforcement activities transferred to the 
National Motor Carrier Administration. The Committee intends 
that any research carried out with these funds on electronic 
hours-of-service recorders be conducted in a manner that takes 
into consideration the special conditions and needs of 
commercial motor vehicle drivers and of the over-the-road bus 
industry.
    The Committee established administrative funding at this 
level so that there are sufficient resources to ensure that the 
management improvements established in this bill can be fully 
realized.
    Subsections (c) and (d) make conforming amendments to 
titles 49 and 5 of the United States Code.
    Subsection (e) requires the National Motor Carrier 
Administrator to comply with the requirements of a 
discretionary departmental regulation, at 48 C.F.R. 1252.209-
70, concerning the disclosure of conflicts of interest in 
research contracts, and to include the text of such regulation 
in each such contract. This subsection also calls for a study 
to determine the effectiveness of this requirement. The 
Committee included this provision to enhance the credibility of 
the motor carrier research program. Eliminating or mitigating 
conflicts of interest will increase the likelihood that the 
research results will be more widely accepted and therefore be 
a more acceptable basis for policy decisions.

Section 102. Motor carrier safety strategy

    Subsection 102(a) requires the Secretary of Transportation, 
as part of the Department's existing strategic planning 
efforts, to develop and implement a long-term strategy, 
including an annual plan and schedule, for improving commercial 
motor vehicle, operator, and carrier safety, and sets forth 
four goals that shall be included in the strategy. The goals 
are reducing the number and rates of crashes, injuries, and 
fatalities involving commercial motor vehicles, improving 
enforcement and compliance programs, identifying and targeting 
enforcement at high risk carriers, vehicles, and drivers, and 
improving research.
    Subsection (b) requires that goals be established that are 
designed to accomplish the safety strategy and requires 
estimates of the funds and staff resources needed to accomplish 
the goals. By working toward the measurable goals, the 
Administration will also be progressing toward the strategic 
goals.
    Subsection (c) requires the submission of the strategy and 
annual plan with the President's annual budget submission, 
starting with fiscal year 2001.
    Subsection (d) establishes annual performance requirements 
for the Administrator, Deputy Administrator, Chief Safety 
Officer, and Regulatory Ombudsman of the National Motor Carrier 
Administration. Each of these officials shall enter into a 
performance agreement that contains his or her individual 
annual goals. If, within the year, any such official makes 
substantial progress toward achieving the goals of the 
performance agreement, the official is eligible to receive a 
performance dividend of up to $15,000 in each of fiscal years 
2001 through 2003.
    This subsection also suspends the award of any dividend 
until the Administration has submitted to the Office of 
Management and Budget a rulemaking to implement the safety 
fitness requirements of section 31144 of title 49, United 
States Code. The Committee included this provision to reflect 
the importance of this rulemaking. By promptly completing it, 
the Administration will have reliable processes and methods for 
reviewing new carrier applicants, for determining a carrier's 
fitness, and for ordering unfit carriers to stop operating 
until they comply with Federal safety requirements.
    In developing and assessing progress toward meeting the 
measurable goal of eliminating the backlog of enforcement 
cases, the Secretary and Administrator shall ensure that the 
prospect of a performance dividend does not lead the Department 
or the Administration to impinge on the legitimate procedural 
rights of motor carriers and drivers.
    Subsection (e) establishes an annual bonus program for all 
employees of the National Motor Carrier Administration, based 
on the progress of the Administration as a whole toward meeting 
the strategic goals of the motor carrier safety strategy and 
annual plans.
    Subsection (f) sets forth the funding source for the 
performance dividends and bonuses and clarifies the 
relationship of this section to other laws.
    Subsection (g) requires the Secretary to report annually to 
Congress on the performance of the officials in meeting the 
goals of their annual performance agreements, any bonuses 
awarded under subsection (e), and on the performance of the 
Administration in meeting the goals of the strategy and annual 
plans.

Section 103. Revenue aligned budget authority

    Subsection 103(a) amends section 110 of title 23, United 
States Code, concerning revenue aligned budget authority, to 
include the motor carrier safety assistance program in the 
group of programs for which funding is annually adjusted to 
correspond to Highway Trust Fund receipts.
    Subsection (b) makes a number of technical and conforming 
amendments, including the relocation of a second section 110, 
concerning uniform transferability of Federal-aid highway 
funds, to section 126 of title 23, United States Code.

Section 104. Additional funding for motor carrier safety grant program

    Subsection 104(a) authorizes an additional $75 million from 
the Highway Trust Fund for each of fiscal years 2000 through 
2003 for the motor carrier safety assistance program (MCSAP) 
under section 31102 of title 49, United States Code.
    Subsection (b) provides that the funds made available in 
subsection (a) shall be treated as if made available in 
subsection 31104(a) of title 49, United States Code, and shall 
be subject to an obligation limitation separate from any 
obligation limitation applicable to funds directly made 
available by section 31104.
    Subsection (c) amends section 4003 of the Transportation 
Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA 21) to increase the amount 
of guaranteed funding provided in TEA 21 for the motor carrier 
safety assistance program by the following amounts: $55 million 
in fiscal year 2000 and $65 million for each of fiscal years 
2001 through 2003. This subsection also amends section 1102 of 
TEA 21 to reduce the obligation ceiling for federal-aid 
highways and highway safety construction programs by $55 
million in fiscal year 2000 and by $65 million for each of 
fiscal years 2001 through 2003.
    The Committee expects that, given the increase in 
guaranteed MCSAP funding, States will be able to hire more 
inspectors and safety personnel. While the Committee recognizes 
the States' concern about hiring staff without an assurance of 
reliable, long-term funding, the Committee believes that the 
funding measures in TEA 21 and in this bill provide adequate 
assurance of continued funding.
    Subsection (d) sets forth a maintenance of effort 
requirement for States receiving motor carrier safety 
assistance program funds under this section. Each State must 
maintain its spending for MCSAP-eligible activities at a level 
at least equal to its fiscal year 1999 level to receive 
additional funding under this section. This requirement does 
not mean that a State must continue to overmatch at the same 
rate it did in fiscal year 1999. Rather, the total amount spent 
should not decrease below the 1999 level.
    Subsection (e) provides that if a State is not in 
substantial compliance with each requirement of section 31311 
of title 49, United States Code, which concern commercial 
driver licensing, the Secretary shall withhold any allocation 
of MCSAP funds authorized under this section. This subsection 
also provides that if, before June 30 of the fiscal year in 
which it was found in noncompliance, a State is found by the 
Secretary to be in substantial compliance with each requirement 
of section 31311, the Secretary shall allocate to the State the 
withheld funds.

Section 105. Motor carrier safety advisory committee

    Section 105 requires the Secretary to establish a motor 
carrier safety advisory committee to advise, consult with, and 
make recommendations to the National Motor Carrier 
Administrator on matters relating to the activities and 
functions of the Administration. Under subsection (c), the 
advisory committee shall terminate on September 30, 2003. This 
advisory committee is not a standing committee for negotiated 
rulemaking purposes.
    The termination date for the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory 
Committee, September 30, 2003, coincides with the 
reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st 
Century. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will 
have the opportunity to review the activities of the advisory 
committee and make any statutory changes to the duties or 
composition of the committee at that time.

Section 106. Effective date

    Section 106 provides that title I of this Act shall take 
effect upon the date of enactment, except that the amendments 
made by section 101 establishing the National Motor Carrier 
Administration take effect on October 1, 2000. Under subsection 
(b), the Secretary is authorized to take such action as may be 
necessary prior to October 1, 2000, to ensure the orderly 
transfer of duties and employees from the Federal Highway 
Administration to the National Motor Carrier Administration.

          Title II--Commercial Motor Vehicle and Driver Safety


Section 201. Disqualifications

    Subsection (a) amends section 31310 of title 49, United 
States Code, to make a single violation of driving a commercial 
motor vehicle with a revoked, suspended, or canceled commercial 
driver's license, or driving while disqualified, a one-year 
disqualifying offense, and to make a conviction for causing a 
fatality through the negligent or criminal operation of a 
commercial motor vehicle a one-year disqualifying offense. This 
subsection also makes the commission of more than one violation 
of driving a commercial motor vehicle with a revoked, 
suspended, or canceled commercial driver's license, or driving 
while disqualified, a lifetime disqualifying offense, and to 
make a conviction of more than one offense of causing a 
fatality through the negligent or criminal operation of a 
commercial motor vehicle a lifetime disqualifying offense.
    Subsection (b) amends section 31310 to give the Secretary 
emergency disqualification authority to revoke the commercial 
driving privileges of an individual upon a determination by the 
Secretary that allowing the individual to continue to operate a 
commercial motor vehicle would create an imminent hazard. The 
Secretary can disqualify an individual under this provision for 
no more than 30 days without providing notice and an 
opportunity for a hearing.
    Subsection (b) also amends section 31310 to require the 
Secretary to issue regulations establishing criteria for 
disqualifying from operating a commercial motor vehicle an 
individual who holds a commercial driver's license and who has 
been convicted of serious offenses involving a vehicle other 
than a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The behavior of a CDL 
holder in operating vehicles other than CMVs is relevant to the 
CDL holder's fitness to operate a commercial motor vehicle; 
therefore the Secretary is directed to conduct a rulemaking to 
determine the appropriate non-CMV offenses and minimum time 
periods for which a CDL holder should be disqualified, but in 
no case shall the types of non-CMV offenses or the time periods 
for which CDL holders are disqualified for such offenses be 
more stringent than the offenses and disqualification periods 
involving a commercial motor vehicle.
    The Committee expects that the Department, in determining 
the appropriate disqualifying offenses by rulemaking, will 
focus on serious offenses, such as driving while intoxicated 
and reckless driving. The Committee does not intend for this 
rule to include minor traffic citations.
    Subsection (c) amends section 31301 of title 49, United 
States Code, to add three offenses to the list of serious 
traffic violations for which a CDL holder can be disqualified 
under subsection 31310(e). The new offenses are: driving a CMV 
without obtaining a CDL; driving a CMV without a CDL in your 
possession; and driving without a required endorsement. But it 
shall not be a serious traffic violation if a driver cited for 
operating a CMV without a license in his or her possession can 
produce proof, before the time to appear or pay the fine for 
such citation, that he or she did have a valid CDL at the time 
of the citation.
    Subsection (d) makes a technical amendment to section 31305 
of title 49, United States Code, concerning testing standards 
for operating commercial motor vehicles.

Section 202. School bus endorsement

    Section 202 amends section 31305 of title 49, United States 
Code, to require the Secretary to prescribe minimum testing 
standards for the operation of a school bus. These standards 
shall be followed by any State that elects to issue a separate 
CDL endorsement for school bus operators otherwise required to 
obtain a CDL, but this provision does not require States to 
issue a school bus endorsement. This provision also permits the 
Secretary, in establishing standards for a school bus 
endorsement, to prescribe separate, different standards for 
different classes of school buses.

Section 203. Requirements for State participation

    Subsection 203(a) amends section 31311 of title 49, United 
States Code, to require a State to notify a commercial driver's 
license holder's home State of any violation of traffic laws 
committed by the CDL holder, not just violations involving a 
commercial motor vehicle.
    Subsection (b) amends section 31311 to prohibit States from 
issuing a provisional or temporary commercial driver's license 
to a driver during the period when the driver has been 
disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle or when 
the driver's license has been revoked, suspended, or cancelled.
    Subsection (c) amends section 31311 to prohibit both 
conviction masking and deferral programs by requiring every 
State to keep a complete driving record of all convictions 
(both those committed in the home State and outside the home 
State) of every individual to whom it has issued a CDL, and to 
make each such complete driving record available to all persons 
(including employers and prospective employers) and 
governmental entities otherwise entitled to access to such 
record. The intent of this section is to eliminate the 
practice, in some jurisdictions, of permitting CDL holders 
facing convictions for traffic violations to attend educational 
courses or pay an increased fee and have their convictions 
either ``masked'' on their record (and therefore hidden from 
employers, potential employers, and insurance companies) or 
never recorded on their record at all. A State may continue to 
offer violators the option of attending an educational course 
in lieu of a fine as long as the violation is included on the 
driver's record.
    Subsection (d) amends section 31311 to require States to 
disqualify, in accordance with the DOT rule issued under 49 
U.S.C. 31310(g), from operating a commercial motor vehicle an 
individual who holds a commercial driver's license and who has 
been convicted of serious offenses involving a vehicle other 
than a commercial motor vehicle.
    Subsection (e) makes a conforming amendment to section 
31311 to reflect the amendments made by section 201 of this 
Act.

Section 204. State noncompliance

    Subsection (a) establishes a program under which the 
Secretary, upon determining that a State is not in substantial 
compliance with each of the commercial driver's license 
requirements of subsection 31311(a) of title 49, United States 
Code, shall decertify the State's CDL issuing agency by issuing 
an order declaring that all CDLs issued by the State after the 
date of the order are not valid and prohibiting the State from 
issuing any commercial driver's license until the Secretary 
finds the State is in substantial compliance. This subsection 
also provides that any State other than the decertified State 
shall issue a nonresident CDL to any individual domiciled in 
the decertified State who meets all of the licensing 
requirements of chapter 313 of title 49, United States Code, 
and any applicable State licensing requirements.
    Subsection (b) makes a conforming amendment to the analysis 
for chapter 313 of title 49, United States Code.
    It is the Committee's understanding that there is some 
ambiguity about States' authority to use MCSAP funds for their 
CDL programs. It is the Committee's view that MCSAP funds are 
eligible for improvements to State CDL programs and that States 
that are on the verge of substantial noncompliance may be well 
advised to use a portion of their MCSAP funds to upgrade their 
CDL programs.

Section 205. 24-hour staffing of telephone hotline

    Section 205 amends section 4017 of TEA 21 to require that 
the Department's toll-free telephone hotline for reporting 
safety violations be staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by 
individuals knowledgeable about Federal motor carrier safety 
regulations and procedures. This section also increases the 
funding authorization for the hotline to the level of the 
Department of Transportation's estimate of the cost of 24-hour 
coverage.

Section 206. Checks before issuance of driver's licenses

    Section 206 amends section 30304 of title 49, United States 
Code, to require a State, before issuing any motor vehicle 
operator's license to an individual, to query both the National 
Driver Register (NDR) and the commercial driver's license 
information system (CDLIS). The intent of this provision is to 
close a loophole in the CDL program identified in the 
Department of Transportation's CDL Effectiveness Study, whereby 
a driver currently holding a valid CDL applies for a non-CDL 
without revealing or surrendering the CDL. Without a check of 
both NDR and CDLIS, the fact that the driver already holds a 
CDL at the time of application for a non-CDL can go undetected, 
thus defeating the fundamental ``one driver, one license'' 
principle behind the CDL program that prevents drivers from 
spreading multiple convictions over multiple licenses.

Section 207. Border staffing standards

    Subsection 207(a) requires the Secretary to develop and 
implement appropriate staffing standards for Federal and State 
motor carrier safety inspectors in international border areas.
    Subsection (b) lists the factors to be considered in 
developing the staffing standards. These include the volume of 
traffic, hours of operation of the border facilities, types of 
commercial motor vehicles (including passenger vehicles) and 
cargo in the border areas, and the responsibilities of Federal 
and State inspectors.
    Subsection (c) prohibits the United States and any State 
from reducing its respective level of motor carrier safety 
inspectors in an international border area below the level of 
such inspectors in fiscal year 2000.
    Subsection (d) provides that if, by October 1, 2001, and 
each fiscal year thereafter, the Secretary has not ensured that 
appropriate levels of staffing consistent with the staffing 
standards are deployed in international border areas, the 
Secretary is required to allocate five percent of motor carrier 
safety assistance program funds for border commercial motor 
vehicle and safety enforcement programs.
    The Committee intends for this provision to help address 
the understaffing noted in reports from DOT Inspector General 
and the U.S. Comptroller General. This provision reflects that 
border safety is a joint responsibility of the Federal 
government and the States. The staffing standards should 
therefore consider the appropriate balance of Federal and State 
resources and duties. The additional funds made available in 
this Act will enable U.S. DOT and the States to implement the 
standards and help ensure that incoming commercial motor 
vehicles and operators comply with all U.S. motor carrier 
safety requirements.

Section 208. Minimum and maximum assessments

    Subsection 208(a) directs the Secretary to ensure that 
motor carriers operate safely by imposing civil penalties at a 
level calculated to ensure prompt and sustained compliance with 
Federal motor carrier safety and commercial driver's license 
(CDL) laws.
    Subsection (b) requires the Secretary to establish and 
assess minimum civil penalties for Federal motor carrier safety 
and CDL violations and to assess the maximum civil penalty for 
repeat offenders.
    Subsection (c) recognizes that extraordinary circumstances 
do arise that merit the assessment of civil penalties at a 
level lower than any level established under subsection (b) of 
this section. If the Secretary assesses such lower penalties, 
the Secretary must document the justification for them.
    Subsection (d) requires the Secretary to conduct and submit 
to Congress a study of the effectiveness of revised civil 
penalties established in TEA 21 and this Act.
    Subsection (e) requires the Inspector General of the 
Department to conduct and submit to Congress a semiannual audit 
of the National Motor Carrier Administration's enforcement 
activities, including an analysis of its fine assessments and 
collections.

Section 209. Study of commercial motor vehicle crash causation and data 
        improvement

    Subsection 209(a) requires the Secretary to conduct a 
comprehensive study to determine the causes of, and 
contributing factors to, crashes involving commercial motor 
vehicles and to identify the data requirements needed to 
improve the Department's and the States' ability to evaluate 
crashes and crash trends, identify crash causes and 
contributing factors, and develop safety measures to reduce 
such crashes.
    Subsection (b) addresses the design of the study, requiring 
that it yield information to help the Department and the States 
identify activities likely to lead to significant reductions in 
commercial motor vehicle-involved crashes.
    Subsection (c) lists the areas of expertise of the people 
with whom the Secretary is required to consult in conducting 
the study.
    Subsection (d) requires the Secretary to provide for public 
comment on various aspects of the study.
    Subsection (e) requires the Secretary to submit the results 
of the study to Congress, review the study at least once every 
five years, and update the study and report as necessary.
    Subsection (f) requires the Secretary to work with the 
States and others to standardize crash data requirements, 
collection procedures, and reports.
    Subsection (g) provides that the study may be carried out 
by any entity within the Department and the costs of the study 
may be paid from funds deducted under section 104(a) of title 
23, United States Code.

                    Hearings and Legislative History

    On February 11, 1999, March 17, 1999, March 25, 1999, and 
May 26, 1999, the Ground Transportation Subcommittee held 
oversight hearings examining the Department of Transportation's 
Office of Motor Carriers.
    At the first hearing on February 11, witnesses from the 
Department of Transportation testified on the budgetary and 
personnel resources of the Office of Motor Carriers, its 
statutory responsibilities, the number of drivers and carriers 
subject to its jurisdiction, and the number of inspections and 
compliance reviews conducted annually.
    The second hearing, which was held on March 17, focused on 
recent studies on the OMC and motor carrier safety conducted by 
the General Accounting Office (GAO) and the Department's Office 
of the Inspector General (OIG). The witnesses from GAO and the 
OIG discussed trends in truck safety and the problems caused by 
the lack of definitive information on the causes of fatal truck 
crashes, shortcomings in the Office of Motor Carriers' 
inspection and enforcement efforts, and the proper location of 
the Office of Motor Carriers.
    At the third hearing on March 25, the Subcommittee heard 
from representatives of the motor carrier industry, commercial 
motor vehicle drivers, enforcement officials, highway safety 
groups, and others who gave their recommendations on how to 
improve truck safety. Witnesses also expressed their views on 
the effectiveness of the OMC's activities to reduce truck 
fatalities.
    During the fourth hearing on May 26, former U.S. 
Representative and Chairman of the Public Works and 
Transportation Committee Norman Mineta discussed his findings 
from the 90-day motor carrier safety review he conducted for 
the DOT Secretary. The Department testified on its newly 
unveiled commercial motor vehicle safety action plan, in which 
DOT established the goal of reducing the number of truck- and 
bus-involved fatalities by 50 percent in 10 years. This hearing 
included a bus safety panel of several witnesses representing 
the bus industry and bus workers and the National 
Transportation Safety Board. These witnesses addressed a number 
of issues, including: the Office of Motor Carrier's oversight 
of the bus industry, improvements to the commercial driver's 
license information system, use of third party inspectors, and 
the use of technology to aid in safety enforcement.

                        Committee Consideration

    On August 5, 1999, the Full Committee met in open session 
and favorably reported H.R. 2679.

                            Roll Call Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives 
requires each committee report to include the total number of 
votes cast for and against on each roll call vote on a motion 
to report and on any amendment offered to the measure or 
matter, and the names of those members voting for and against. 
There were no roll call votes.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                          Cost of Legislation

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

                    Compliance with House Rule XIII

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee 
references the report of the Congressional Budget Office 
included below.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee has received no report of oversight findings and 
recommendations from the Committee on Government Reform and 
Oversight on the subject of H.R. 2679
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R. 
2679 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.
                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 17, 1999.
Hon. Bud Shuster,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2679, the Motor 
Carrier Safety Act of 1999.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are James 
O'Keeffe (for federal costs), Lisa Cash Driskill (for the state 
and local impact), and Keith Mattrick (for the private-sector 
impact).
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate


H.R. 2679--Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1999

    Summary: H.R. 2679 would change the organization of motor 
carrier safety functions within the Department of 
Transportation (DOT) and increase funding for motor carrier 
safety grants. CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 2679 would 
result in additional discretionary spending of approximately 
$340 million over the 2000-2004 period, assuming appropriation 
actions consistent with the bill. The legislation could affect 
direct spending and receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures would apply. While budget authority would increase 
by $500 million over the 2000-2003 period, CBO estimates that 
any effects on direct spending outlays or receipts would be 
insignificant.
    H.R. 2679 contains an intergovernmental mandate as defined 
in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA), but CBO estimates 
that the costs would total less than $5 million annually, well 
below the threshold established by UMRA ($50 million in 1996, 
adjusted annually for inflation). The bill would authorize 
additional funds for motor carrier safety programs, some of 
which could be used to cover these costs; however, to be 
eligible for those grants, states must agree to maintain their 
current level of spending on motor carrier safety and 
enforcement activities.
    H.R. 2679 would impose private-sector mandates on operators 
of commercial motor vehicles, but CBO estimates that the costs 
of those mandates would not exceed the statutory threshold 
established in UMRA ($100 million in 1996, adjusted annually 
for inflation).
    Description of the bill's major provisions: H.R. 2679 would 
create the National Motor Carrier Administration (NMCA) to 
administer truck and bus safety, which currently is under the 
jurisdiction of the Office of Motor Carriers within the Federal 
Highway Administration. Over the 2000-2003 period, the bill 
would provide an additional $550 million in contract authority, 
a mandatory form of budget authority, for motor carrier safety 
grants. Because spending for this program is constrained by 
obligation limitations set in appropriation acts, the resulting 
outlays are discretionary. To partially offset the increase in 
funding, the bill would decrease the existing obligation 
limitations for the federal-aid highways program by $250 
million over the 2000-2003 period.
    H.R. 2679 would make the motor carrier safety grant program 
eligible to receive additional contract authority through 
revenue-aligned budget authority (RABA), whereby contract 
authority is automatically added or subtracted based on 
receipts of the highway trust fund. Unlike most programs 
covered by the RABA provision of the Transportation Equity Act 
for the 21st Century (TEA 21, Public Law 105-178), the motor 
carrier safety program would not be subject to reductions in 
contract authority. The bill also would reserve contract 
authority within the administrative account for federal-aid 
highways to administer motor carrier safety programs and 
research. However, it would not change the total contract 
authority available to the account.
    As a condition for issuing commercial driver's licenses and 
receiving funds authorized by this bill, states would have to 
comply with expanded federal guidelines for issuing and 
disqualifying driver's licenses. States would have to check the 
National Driver Registry and the Commercial Driver's License 
Information System before issuing any driver's license. The 
bill also would require states to enter into a binding 
agreement to spend at least as much on motor carrier safety 
each year as in fiscal year 1999 in order to receive funds 
authorized in this bill.
    The legislation would direct the Inspector General of DOT 
to conduct semiannual audits of NMCA's enforcement activities. 
DOT would be required to develop staffing standards for 
international border in section areas. If the level of staffing 
identified in the report were not met by fiscal year 2002, 
funds would automatically be diverted for this purpose. This 
bill also would require DOT to develop a strategy and annual 
plan to improve motor carrier safety, establish minimum civil 
penalties for violations of laws governing motor carrier safety 
and commercial driver's licenses, complete a number of 
additional studies, and issue regulations.
    H.R. 2679 also would create four new executive positions 
within NMCA and would authorize both agency-wide bonuses and 
individual bonuses for those new executive positions.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 2679 is shown in the following table. 
The cost of this legislation fall within budget function 400 
(transportation).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                By fiscal year, in millions of dollars
                                                     -----------------------------------------------------------
                                                        1999      2000      2001      2002      2003      2004
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                 Direct spending

Budget Authority Under Current Law..................    29,407    31,503    30,600    31,217    31,755         0
Proposed Changes....................................         0       130       140       140       140         0
Total Budget Authority Under H.R. 2679..............    29,407    31,633    30,800    31,357    31,915         0


                                        Spending subject to appropriation

Spending Under Current Law
    Budget Authority................................         0         0         0         0         0         0
    Estimated Outlays \1\...........................    22,121    24,619    26,233    26,873    27,579    21,062
Proposed Changes
    Estimated Authorization Level...................         0         0         1         1         1         1
    Estimated Outlays...............................         0        22        93        86        82        57
Total Spending Under H.R. 2679
    Estimated Authorization Level...................         0         0         1         1         1         1
    Estimated Outlays \1\...........................    22,121    24,641    26,326    26,959    27,660    21,119
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The 1999 amount is the estimated total of outlays for motor carrier safety grants and the portion of
  spending for federal-aid highways that is subject to an obligation limitation.

    Basis of the estimate: For purposes of this estimate, CBO 
assumes that H.R. 2679 will be enacted by the end of fiscal 
year 1999 and that appropriate actions will allow obligation of 
all the additional contract authority. Because most of the 
outlays from contract authority are governed by annual 
obligation limitations in appropriation acts, they are 
discretionary and are included in the table as estimated 
outlays subject to appropriation.
    Using historical rates of spending for the affected 
programs, CBO estimates that implementing this bill would 
increase federal expenditures on motor carrier safety by $550 
million over the 2000-2004 period and reduce federal 
expenditures for federal-aid highways by $213 million over the 
same period, resulting in a net increase of $337 million over 
the next five years. CBO assumes the costs of conducting the 
studies and writing the regulations contained in this bill 
would be covered by the total authorization for motor carrier 
safety, as amended and increased by this bill. The same 
assumption applies to the costs of the new positions for NMCA 
Administrator, Deputy Administrator, Chief Safety Officer, and 
Regulatory Ombudsman.
    Based on information from the Office of the Inspector 
General of DOT, CBO estimates that it would cost $800,000 a 
year to conduct semiannual audits of NMCA's enforcement 
activities. Other provisions of the bill would have no 
significant budgetary impact.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: The Balanced Budget and 
Emergency Deficit Control Act set up pay-as-you-go procedures 
for legislation affecting direct spending or receipts. H.R. 
2679 would direct DOT to establish a minimum penalty for 
violating laws governing motor vehicle safety and commercial 
driver's licenses and to assess the existing maximum civil 
penalty for second and multiple violations. These provisions 
could result in an increase in governmental receipts, but CBO 
estimates that any such changes would be less than $500,000 a 
year.
    Estimated impact on state, local, and tribal governments: 
H.R. 2679 would impose an intergovernmental mandate by 
requiring states to comply with certain guidelines for issuing 
driver's licenses and for disqualifying drivers. If the 
Secretary of Transportation determines that a state is not in 
substantial compliance with the federal guidelines, that state 
would no longer be able to issue commercial driver's licenses 
(CDLs). CBO estimates that complying with the new guidelines 
would cost less than $5 million annually, well below the 
threshold established by UMRA ($50 million in 1996, adjusted 
annually for inflation).
    The new guidelines imposed by this bill would require 
states to disqualify more drivers and to keep a record of all 
traffic violations committed by CDL holders in other states. 
Currently, all states comply with existing DOT guidelines for 
issuing CDLs, and CBO expects they would continue to do so if 
H.R. 2679 is enacted. Based on information from the American 
Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) and DOT, 
CBO expects that no state would be subject to closure of its 
CDL program because the new requirements, in mostcases, would 
not add a significant administrative burden, and because it is in the 
interest of states to comply rather than risk losing revenues they 
collect from this program.
    The bill also would require states to check the Commercial 
Driver's License Information System (CDLIS) before issuing any 
new or renewal license for operating a motor vehicle 
(generally, a driver's license). Every time states issue a CDL, 
they pay a fee to AAMVA, which maintains the CDLIS system. In 
return, states may make unlimited inquiries to the system for 
information. States might have to change computer systems in 
their licensing facilities to accommodate this new requirement, 
and AAMVA might begin charging some nominal amount for 
inquiries (or increase the initial filing fee). However, the 
total cost of these changes is likely to be less than $4 
million per year.
    In addition, states would no longer be able to issue 
temporary or provisional CDLs to drivers otherwise disqualified 
from holding a CDL. This restriction would result in a loss of 
fees, but it would also result in lower administrative costs. 
CBO estimates that the net effect would be a revenue loss 
totaling less than $1 million per year.
    Finally, the bill would provide $550 million in contract 
authority over the next four years, some of which could be used 
for grants to offset the costs of these mandates. Most of the 
money, however, would be used for commercial vehicle 
inspections, a federal program administered at the state level. 
The bill also would reduce federal grants to states for highway 
construction by $250 million over the 2000-2003 period. In 
order to qualify for these highway grant funds, states would 
have to enter into a binding agreement with the Secretary of 
Transportation to maintain state and local spending on motor 
carrier safety and enforcement activities at or above the 1999 
level.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: H.R. 2679 would 
impose a series of private-sector mandates, as defined in UMRA, 
on operators of commercial motor vehicles. CBO estimates that 
the total direct costs for private-sector mandates in this bill 
would fall well below the threshold established in UMRA ($100 
million in 1996, adjusted annually for inflation).
    First, the bill would require physical possession of a 
commercial driver's license when operating a commercial motor 
vehicle. According to industry experts, the burden imposed by 
this requirement would be minimal. Second, H.R. 2679 stipulates 
that an individual should be disqualified from operating a 
commercial motor vehicle if the Secretary of Transportation 
determines that the individual's driving behavior represents an 
imminent hazard to public safety. Based on information provided 
by the Department of Transportation, CBO believes that such a 
disqualification would be rare and thus that the mandate would 
not impose significant costs on the private sector. Third, the 
bill would require the Secretary of Transportation to issue 
minimum testing standards for operators of school buses in 
states that choose to issue school bus endorsements on their 
commercial driver's licenses. The total cost of that mandate 
would depend on the number of states that elect to issue such 
an endorsement, but information provided by DOT indicates that 
the incremental burden to a school bus operator of any 
additional requirements would be small.
    The bill would also transform qualifications for a 
commercial driver's license, currently set by states, into 
federal requirements. According to DOT, all states have elected 
to impose a number of license issuing requirements on 
applicants for commercial driver's licenses in order to avoid a 
reduction in highway funds provided by the federal government. 
The provisions of H.R. 2679 would impose such requirements 
nationally. As all of those qualifications are currently 
required by the states, the new federal mandate would impose no 
additional costs on applicants for commercial driver's 
licenses.
    The bill stipulates that commercial driver's licenses 
issued by states that do not comply with the qualification 
standards would not be valid. That provision would impose a 
burden on license applicants residing in the affected states, 
who would need to obtain a nonresident commercial driver's 
license in another state. Based on information provided by DOT, 
however, CBO believes that states would remain in compliance 
with those qualification standards, and thus it is unlikely 
that such a burden would be imposed on the private sector.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: James O'Keeffe. Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Lisa Cash Driskill. 
Impact on the Private Sector: Keith Mattrick.
    Estimate approved by: Robert A. Sunshine, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause (3)(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, committee reports on a bill or 
joint resolution of a public character shall include a 
statement citing the specific powers granted to the Congress in 
the Constitution to enact the measure. The Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure finds that Congress has the 
authority to enact this measure pursuant to its powers granted 
under article I, section 8 of the Constitution.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act. (Public Law 104-4.)

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    The bill includes a motor carrier safety advisory committee 
to assist the new National Motor Carrier Administration. The 
Committee believes it is important to create this new committee 
because the functions that it will perform cannot be provided 
by any other entity within the Department of Transportation. 
The advisory committee is authorized through FY 2003, at which 
time the Congress will have the opportunity to review this 
issue.

                Applicability to the Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act. (Public Law 
104-1.)

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

      In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made 
by the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italics, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

                    TITLE 49, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                SUBTITLE I--DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                        CHAPTER 1--ORGANIZATION

Sec.
101.  Purpose.
     * * * * * * *
113.  National Motor Carrier Administration.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 104. Federal Highway Administration

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) The Administrator shall carry out--
          (1) duties and powers vested in the Secretary by 
        chapter 4 of title 23 for highway safety programs, 
        research, and development related to highway design, 
        construction and maintenance, traffic control devices, 
        identification and surveillance of accident locations, 
        and highway-related aspects of pedestrian safety; and
          [(2) duties and powers related to motor carrier 
        safety vested in the Secretary by chapters 5 and 315 of 
        this title; and]
          [(3)] (2) additional duties and powers prescribed by 
        the Secretary.
  [(d) A duty or power specified by subsection (c)(2) of this 
section may be transferred to another part of the Department 
only when specifically provided by law or a reorganization plan 
submitted under chapter 9 of title 5. A decision of the 
Administrator in carrying out those duties or powers and 
involving notice and hearing required by law is 
administratively final.]
  [(e)] (d) Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 101(d) 
and 144 of title 23, highway bridges determined to be 
unreasonable obstructions to navigation under the Truman-Hobbs 
Act may be funded from amounts set aside from the discretionary 
bridge program. The Secretary shall transfer these allocations 
and the responsibility for administration of these funds to the 
United States Coast Guard.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 113. National Motor Carrier Administration

  (a) In General.--The National Motor Carrier Administration 
shall be an administration of the Department of Transportation.
  (b) Safety as Highest Priority.--In carrying out its duties, 
the Administration shall consider the assignment and 
maintenance of safety as the highest priority, recognizing the 
clear intent, encouragement, and dedication of Congress to the 
furtherance of the highest degree of safety in motor carrier 
transportation.
  (c) Administrator.--The head of the Administration shall be 
the Administrator who shall be appointed by the President, by 
and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The 
Administrator shall report directly to the Secretary of 
Transportation.
  (d) Deputy Administrator.--The Administration shall have a 
Deputy Administrator appointed by the Secretary, with the 
approval of the President. The Deputy Administrator shall carry 
out duties and powers prescribed by the Administrator.
  (e) Chief Safety Officer.--The Administration shall have an 
Assistant National Motor Carrier Administrator appointed in the 
competitive service by the Secretary, with the approval of the 
President. The Assistant Administrator shall be the Chief 
Safety Officer of the Administration. The Assistant 
Administrator shall carry out the duties and powers prescribed 
by the Administrator.
  (f) Regulatory Ombudsman.--The Administration shall have a 
Regulatory Ombudsman appointed by the Administrator. The 
Secretary and the Administrator shall each delegate to the 
Ombudsman such authority as may be necessary for the Ombudsman 
to expedite rulemaking proceedings to comply with statutory and 
internal departmental deadlines, including authority to--
          (1) make decisions to resolve disagreements between 
        officials in the Administration who are participating 
        in a rulemaking process; and
          (2) ensure that sufficient staff are assigned to 
        rulemaking projects to meet all deadlines.
  (g) Offices of Passenger Vehicle Safety, Consumer Affairs, 
and International Affairs.--The Administration shall have an 
Office of Passenger Vehicle Safety, an Office of Consumer 
Affairs, and an Office of International Affairs.
  (h) Powers and Duties.--The Administrator shall carry out--
          (1) duties and powers related to motor carriers or 
        motor carrier safety vested in the Secretary by 
        chapters 5, 51, 55, 57, 59, 133 through 149, 311, 313, 
        and 315; and
          (2) additional duties and powers prescribed by the 
        Secretary.
  (i) Limitation on Transfer of Powers and Duties.--A duty or 
power specified in subsection (h)(1) may only be transferred to 
another part of the Department when specifically provided by 
law.
  (j) Effect of Certain Decisions.--A decision of the 
Administrator involving a duty or power specified in subsection 
(h)(1) andinvolving notice and hearing required by law is 
administratively final.
  (k) Consultation.--The Administrator shall consult with the 
Federal Highway Administrator and with the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administrator on matters related to highway and 
motor carrier safety.

            SUBTITLE VI--MOTOR VEHICLE AND DRIVER PROGRAMS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            PART A--GENERAL

                   CHAPTER 301--MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 30304. Reports by chief driver licensing officials

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e) Driver Record Inquiry.--Before issuing a motor vehicle 
operator's license to an individual, a State shall request from 
the Secretary information from the National Driver Register 
under section 30302 and the commercial driver's license 
information system under section 31309 on the individual's 
driving record.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                          PART B--COMMERCIAL

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


             CHAPTER 313--COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATORS

Sec.
31301.  Definitions.
     * * * * * * *
[31314.  Withholding amounts for State noncompliance.]
31314.  State noncompliance.
     * * * * * * *

Sec. 31301. Definitions

  In this chapter--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (12) ``serious traffic violation'' means--
                  (A) excessive speeding, as defined by the 
                Secretary by regulation;
                  (B) reckless driving, as defined under State 
                or local law;
                  (C) a violation of a State or local law on 
                motor vehicle traffic control (except a parking 
                violation) and involving a fatality, other than 
                a violation to which section 31310(b)(1)(E) or 
                31310(c)(1)(E) applies; [and]
                  (D) driving a commercial motor vehicle when 
                the individual has not obtained a commercial 
                driver's license;
                  (E) driving a commercial motor vehicle when 
                the individual does not have in his or her 
                possession a commercial driver's license unless 
                the individual provides, by the date that the 
                individual must appear in court or pay any fine 
                with respect to the citation, to the 
                enforcement authority that issued the citation 
                proof that the individual held a valid 
                commercial driver's license on the date of the 
                citation;
                  (F) driving a commercial motor vehicle when 
                the individual has not met the minimum testing 
                standards--
                  (i) under section 31305(a)(3) for the 
                specific class of vehicle the individual is 
                operating; or
                  (ii) under section 31305(a)(5) for the type 
                of cargo the vehicle is carrying; and
                  [(D)] (G) any other similar violation of a 
                State or local law on motor vehicle traffic 
                control (except a parking violation) that the 
                Secretary designates by regulation as serious.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 31305. General driver fitness and testing

  (a) Minimum Standards for Testing and Fitness.--The Secretary 
of Transportation shall prescribe regulations on minimum 
standards for testing and ensuring the fitness of an individual 
operating a commercial motor vehicle. The regulations--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (7) shall ensure that an individual taking the tests 
        is qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle 
        under regulations prescribed by the Secretary and 
        contained in title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to 
        the extent the regulations apply to the individual; 
        [and]
          (8) may require--
                  (A) issuance of a certification of fitness to 
                operate a commercial motor vehicle to an 
                individual passing the tests; and
                  (B) the individual to have a copy of the 
                certification in the individual's possession 
                when the individual is operating a commercial 
                motor vehicle[.]; and
          (9) shall prescribe minimum testing standards for the 
        operation of a school bus (that is a vehicle described 
        in section 31301(4)(B)) in a State that elects to issue 
        a commercial driver's license school bus endorsement 
        and may prescribe different minimum testing standards 
        for different classes of school buses.
  (b) Requirements for Operating Vehicles.--(1) Except as 
provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, an individual may 
operate a commercial motor vehicle only if the individual has 
passed written and driving tests [to operate the vehicle] that 
meet the minimum standards prescribed by the Secretary under 
subsection (a) of this section to operate the vehicle and has a 
commercial driver's license to operate the vehicle.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 31310. Disqualifications

  (a) * * *
  (b) First Violation or Committing Felony.--(1) Except as 
provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection and subsection (c) 
of this section, the Secretary of Transportation shall 
disqualify from operating a commercial motor vehicle for at 
least one year an individual--
          (A) committing a first violation of driving a 
        commercial motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol 
        or a controlled substance;
          (B) committing a first violation of leaving the scene 
        of an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle 
        operated by the individual; [or]
          (C) using a commercial motor vehicle in committing a 
        felony (except a felony described in subsection (d) of 
        this section)[.];
          (D) committing a first violation of driving a 
        commercial motor vehicle when the individual's 
        commercial driver's license is revoked, suspended, or 
        canceled based on the individual's operation of a 
        commercial motor vehicle or when the individual is 
        disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle 
        based on the individual's operation of a commercial 
        motor vehicle; or
          (E) convicted of causing a fatality through negligent 
        or criminal operation of a commercial motor vehicle.
  (c) Second and Multiple Violations.--(1) Subject to paragraph 
(2) of this subsection, the Secretary shall disqualify from 
operating a commercial motor vehicle for life an individual--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (C) using a commercial motor vehicle in committing 
        more than one felony arising out of different criminal 
        episodes; [or]
          (D) committing more than one violation of driving a 
        commercial motor vehicle when the individual's 
        commercial driver's license is revoked, suspended, or 
        canceled based on the individual's operation of a 
        commercial motor vehicle or when the individual is 
        disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle 
        based on the individual's operation of a commercial 
        motor vehicle;
          (E) convicted of more than one offense of causing a 
        fatality through negligent or criminal operation of a 
        commercial motor vehicle; or
          [(D)] (F) committing any combination of single 
        violations or use described in [clauses (A)-(C) of this 
        paragraph] subparagraphs (A) through (E).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (f) Emergency Disqualification.--
          (1) Limited duration.--The Secretary shall disqualify 
        an individual from operating a commercial motor vehicle 
        for not to exceed 30 days if the Secretary determines 
        that allowing the individual to continue to operate a 
        commercial motor vehicle would create an imminent 
        hazard (as such term is defined in section 5102).
          (2) After notice and hearing.--The Secretary shall 
        disqualify an individual from operating a commercial 
        motor vehicle for more than 30 days if the Secretary 
        determines, after notice and an opportunity for a 
        hearing, that allowing the individual to continue to 
        operate a commercial motor vehicle would create an 
        imminent hazard (as such term is defined in section 
        5102).
  (g) Noncommercial Motor Vehicle Convictions.--Not later than 
1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary 
shall issue regulations providing for the disqualification by 
the Secretary from operating a commercial motor vehicle of an 
individual who holds a commercial driver's license and who has 
been convicted of serious offenses involving a motor vehicle 
other than a commercial motor vehicle. Such regulations shall 
establish the offenses and minimum periods for which such 
disqualifications shall be in effect, but in no case shall the 
types of disqualifying noncommercial motor vehicle offenses or 
the time periods for disqualification for noncommercial motor 
vehicle violations be more stringent than those for offenses or 
violations involving a commercial motor vehicle. The Secretary 
shall determine such periods based on the seriousness of the 
offenses on which the convictions are based.
  [(f)] (h) State Disqualification.--Notwithstanding 
subsections [(b)-(e)] (b) through (g) of this section, the 
Secretary does not have to disqualify an individual from 
operating a commercial motor vehicle if the State that issued 
the individual a license authorizing the operation has 
disqualified the individual from operating a commercial motor 
vehicle under subsections [(b)-(e)] (b) through (g). 
Revocation, suspension, or cancellation of the license is 
deemed to be disqualification under this subsection.
  [(g)] (i) Out-of-Service Orders.--(1)(A) To enforce section 
392.5 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, the Secretary 
shall prescribe regulations establishing and enforcing an out-
of-service period of 24 hours for an individual who violates 
section 392.5. An individual may not violate an out-of-service 
order issued under those regulations.
  [(h)] (j) Grade-Crossing Violations.--
          (1) Sanctions.--The Secretary shall issue regulations 
        establishing sanctions and penalties relating to 
        violations, by persons operating commercial motor 
        vehicles, of laws and regulations pertaining to 
        railroad-highway grade crossings.
          (2) Minimum requirements.--The regulations issued 
        under paragraph (1) shall, at a minimum, require that--
                  (A) the penalty for a single violation is not 
                less than a 60-day disqualification of the 
                driver's commercial driver's license; and
                  (B) any employer that knowingly allows, 
                permits, authorizes, or requires an employee to 
                operate a commercial motor vehicle in violation 
                of such a law or regulation shall be subject to 
                a civil penalty of not more than $10,000.

Sec. 31311. Requirements for State participation

  (a) General.--To avoid having amounts withheld from 
apportionment under section 31314 of this title, a State shall 
comply with the following requirements:
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (9) If an individual [operating a commercial motor 
        vehicle] violates a State or local law on motor vehicle 
        traffic control (except a parking violation) and the 
        individual has a commercial driver's license issued by 
        another State, the State in which the violation 
        occurred shall notify a State official designated by 
        the issuing State of the violation not later than 10 
        days after the date the individual is found to have 
        committed the violation.
          (10) The State may not issue a commercial driver's 
        license (including a provisional or temporary 
        commercial driver's license) to an individual during a 
        period in which the individual is disqualified from 
        operating a commercial motor vehicle or the 
        individual's driver's license is revoked, suspended, or 
        canceled.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          [(13) The State shall impose penalties the State 
        considers appropriate and the Secretary approves for an 
        individual operating a commercial motor vehicle when 
        the individual--
                  [(A) does not have a commercial driver's 
                license;
                  [(B) has a driver's license revoked, 
                suspended, or canceled; or
                  [(C) is disqualified from operating a 
                commercial motor vehicle.]
          (13) The State shall (A) record in the driving record 
        of an individual who has a commercial driver's license 
        issued by the State, and (B) make available to all 
        authorized persons and governmental entities having 
        access to such record, all information the State 
        receives under paragraph (9) with respect to the 
        individual and every conviction by the State of the 
        individual for a violation involving a motor vehicle 
        (including a commercial motor vehicle) of a State or 
        local law on traffic control (except a parking 
        violation), not later than 10 days after the date of 
        receipt of such information or the date of such 
        conviction.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (15) The State shall disqualify an individual from 
        operating a commercial motor vehicle for the same 
        reasons and time periods for which the Secretary shall 
        disqualify the individual under [subsections (b)-(e), 
        (g)(1)(A), and (g)(2) of] section 31310.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (18) The State shall revoke, suspend, or cancel, for 
        a period determined in accordance with regulations 
        issued by the Secretary under section 31310(g), the 
        commercial driver's license of an individual who has 
        been convicted of serious offenses involving a motor 
        vehicle other than a commercial motor vehicle.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 31314. [Withholding amounts for] State noncompliance

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) Commercial Driver's Licenses.--
          (1) State not in substantial compliance.--If the 
        Secretary determines that a State is not in substantial 
        compliance with a requirement of section 31311(a), the 
        Secretary shall issue an order declaring that all 
        commercial driver's licenses issued by the State after 
        the date of the order are not valid and the State may 
        not issue any commercial driver's licenses after the 
        date of such order.
          (2) Previously issued licenses.--Nothing in this 
        subsection shall be construed as invalidating or 
        otherwise affecting commercial driver's licenses issued 
        by a State before the date of issuance of an order 
        under paragraph (1) with respect to the State.
          (3) State in substantial compliance.--A State subject 
        to an order under paragraph (1) may not resume issuing 
        commercial driver's licenses until the Secretary 
        determines that the State is in substantial compliance 
        with all of the requirements of subsection 31311(a).
          (4) Nonresident cdls.--Any State other than a State 
        subject to an order under paragraph (1) shall issue a 
        nonresident commercial driver's license to any 
        individual domiciled in a State subject to such an 
        order who meets all of the requirements of this chapter 
        and any applicable State licensing requirements.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


                      TITLE 23, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                    CHAPTER 1--FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAYS

                    SUBCHAPTER I--GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec.

101. Definitions and declaration of policy.
     * * * * * * *
[110. Uniform transferability of Federal-aid highway funds.]
     * * * * * * *
126. Uniform transferability of Federal-aid highway funds.
     * * * * * * *
[Sec.]163. Safety incentives to prevent operation of motor vehicles by 
          intoxicated persons.
     * * * * * * *

Sec. 104. Apportionment

  (a) Administrative Expenses.--
          (1) In general.--Whenever an apportionment is made of 
        the sums made available for expenditure on each of the 
        surface transportation program under section 133, the 
        bridge program under section 144, the congestion 
        mitigation and air qualityimprovement program under 
section 149, the Interstate and National Highway System program, the 
minimum guarantee program under section 105, the Federal lands highway 
program under section 204, or the Appalachian development highway 
system program under section 201 of the Appalachian Regional 
Development Act of 1965 (40 U.S.C. App.), the Secretary shall deduct a 
sum, in an amount not to [exceed 1\1/2\ percent of all sums so made 
available, as the Secretary determines necessary--] exceed--
                  (A) 1\1/6\ percent of all sums so made 
                available, as the Secretary determines 
                necessary--
                          [(A)] (i) to administer the 
                        provisions of law to be financed from 
                        appropriations for the Federal-aid 
                        highway program and programs authorized 
                        under chapter 2; and
                          [(B)] (ii) to make transfers of such 
                        sums as the Secretary determines to be 
                        appropriate to the Appalachian Regional 
                        Commission for administrative 
                        activities associated with the 
                        Appalachian development highway 
                        system[.]; and
                  (B) \1/3\ of one percent of all sums so made 
                available, as the Secretary determines 
                necessary, to administer the provisions of law 
                to be financed from appropriations for motor 
                carrier safety programs and motor carrier 
                safety research.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (4) Limitation on transferability.--Unless expressly 
        authorized by law, the Secretary may not transfer any 
        sums deducted under paragraph (1) to a Federal agency 
        or entity other than the Federal Highway Administration 
        and the National Motor Carrier Administration.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 110. Revenue aligned budget authority

  (a) In General.--
          (1)  * * *
          (2) Reduction.--If the amount determined pursuant to 
        section 251(b)(1)(B)(ii)(I)(cc) of the Balanced Budget 
        and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C 
        901(b)(2)(B)(ii)(I)(cc)) for fiscal year 2000 or any 
        fiscal year thereafter is less than zero, the Secretary 
        on October 1 of the succeeding fiscal year shall reduce 
        proportionately the amount of sums authorized to be 
        appropriated from the Highway Trust Fund (other than 
        the Mass Transit Account) to carry out each of the 
        Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction 
        programs (other than emergency relief) and the motor 
        carrier safety grant program by an aggregate amount 
        equal to the amount determined pursuant to such 
        section.
  (b) General Distribution.--The Secretary shall--
          (1) determine the ratio that--
                  (A) the sums authorized to be appropriated 
                from the Highway Trust Fund (other than the 
                Mass Transit Account) for each of the for 
                Federal-aid highway and highway safety 
                construction programs (other than the minimum 
                guarantee program) and the motor carrier safety 
                grant program for which funds are allocated 
                from such Trust Fund by the Secretary under 
                this [title and] title, the Transportation 
                Equity Act for the 21st Century, and subchapter 
                I of chapter 311 of title 49 for a fiscal year, 
                bears to
                  (B) the total of all sums authorized to be 
                appropriated from such Trust Fund for such 
                programs for such fiscal year;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


[Sec. 110.] Sec. 126. Uniform transferability of Federal-aid highway 
                    funds

  (a) General Rule.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law 
but subject to subsections (b) and (c), if at least 50 percent 
of a State's apportionment under section 104 or 144 for a 
fiscal year or at least 50 percent of the funds set-aside under 
section 133(d) from the State's apportionment section 104(b)(3) 
may not be transferred to any other apportionment of the State 
under section 104 or 144 for such fiscal year, then the State 
may transfer not to exceed 50 percent of such apportionment or 
set aside to any other apportionment of such State under 
section 104 or 144 for such fiscal year.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


               CHAPTER 53 OF TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


              SUBCHAPTER II--EXECUTIVE SCHEDULE PAY RATES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 5314. Positions at level III

  Level III of the Executive Schedule applies to the following 
positions, for which the annual rate of basic pay shall be the 
rate determined with respect to such level under chapter 11 of 
title 2, as adjusted by section 5318 of this title:
          Solicitor General of the United States.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety 
        Administration.
          Administrator of the National Motor Carrier 
        Administration.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 5316. Positions at level V

  Level V of the Executive Schedule applies to the following 
positions, for which the annual rate of basic pay shall be the 
rate determined with respect to such level under chapter 11 of 
title 2, as adjusted by section 5318 of this title:
          Administrator, Bonneville Power Administration, 
        Department of the Interior.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          Deputy Administrator of the National Highway Traffic 
        Safety Administration.
          Deputy Administrator of the National Motor Carrier 
        Administration.
          Assistant National Motor Carrier Administrator.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


             TRANSPORTATION EQUITY ACT FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                     TITLE I--FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAYS

Subtitle A--Authorizations and Programs

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 1102. OBLIGATION CEILING.

  (a)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (j) Reduction in Obligation Ceiling.--The limitation on 
obligations imposed by subsection (a)--
          (1) for fiscal year 2000 shall be reduced by 
        $55,000,000; and
          (2) for each of fiscal years 2001 through 2003 shall 
        be reduced by $65,000,000.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                    TITLE IV--MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 4003. STATE GRANTS.

  (a)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (i) Increased Authorizations for Motor Carrier Safety 
Grants.--The amount made available to incur obligations to 
carry out section 31102 of title 49, United States Code, by 
section 31104(a) of such title--
          (1) for fiscal year 2000 shall be increased by 
        $55,000,000; and
          (2) for each of fiscal years 2001 through 2003 shall 
        be increased by $65,000,000.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 4017. TELEPHONE HOTLINE FOR REPORTING SAFETY VIOLATIONS.

  (a)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) Staffing.--The toll-free telephone system shall be 
staffed 24 hours a day 7 days a week by individuals 
knowledgeable about Federal motor carrier safety regulations 
and procedures.
  [(c)] (d) Protection of Persons Reporting Violations.--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(d)] (e) Funding.--From amounts set aside under section 
104(a) of title 23, United States Code, the Secretary may use 
not more than $250,000 [for each of fiscal years 1999] for 
fiscal year 1999 and $375,000 for each of fiscal years 2000 
through 2003 to carry out this section.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *