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Public Statements

Safe American Roads Act of 2007

Floor Speech

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Location: Washington, DC


SAFE AMERICAN ROADS ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - May 15, 2007)

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Mr. FILNER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman.

I thank Chairman DeFazio and Ranking Member Duncan and Chairman Oberstar for this creative solution to a very difficult problem.

I happen to live at the border. I represent the whole California-Mexico border. Through my district, at least 4,000 trucks a day pass through. That means across the whole border three or four, five times that will cross. The volume is enormous. There is no way for us to inspect this incredible volume of traffic. In fact, when there was a test case several years ago of inspecting all the trucks, they found 100 percent of the trucks had either insurance or safety violations.

We are dealing with issues of insurance. We are dealing with issues of truck safety. We're dealing with issues of driver certification and jobs on this side of the border. There's no question that these certifications are just not the same standards that we apply. We have fraudulent use of papers. There is enormous difficulty in getting accountability.

But, in addition, if we allow the truckers to cross they will be in this country and able to take jobs away from our local companies, especially small trucking companies. It costs them about 150 dollars to go to L.A. from San Diego and back. A Mexican trucker will do it for 50 dollars. That puts all our guys out of business if the administration proposal was allowed to go through.

So I thank the Chair for coming up with this creative solution. This is a bad, bad vision that the administration has to allow all trucks across in a way which does not really meet the safety or insurance or certification standards that we have in this country. And we're going to have a major accident somewhere, and the people in America are going to say how did this happen.

Well, we intend in Congress to make sure that we keep our safe roads and we keep our jobs for American truckers.

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