The Senate self-driving vehicle bill will have to change before it can come to the Senate floor, several senators and congressional sources told Bloomberg Government.
Both the Republican and Democratic cloakrooms were gauging support through the hotline process the week of Nov. 25 for possibly bringing to the Senate floor the AV START bill (S. 1885) co-authored by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.).
The hotlining process helps identify any issues that might keep a bill from being considered under unanimous consent.
The bill was approved out of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in October, but several senators at the time said they planned to offer amendments when the bill came to the floor.
Democratic Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) confirmed that they each placed a hold on the bill when it was floated by them through the hotline process by their cloakroom.
Holds are just part of the process, not something that could sidetrack the bill, Peters told reporters.
“People come forward and you work it out. Usually we can get it done,” Peters told reporters. “I know Sen. Thune is very anxious to get it done too, so we’re working as a team.”
The Commerce Committee does not expect the bill to clear without further discussion and changes, a Commerce committee staffer told Bloomberg Government.
Markey continues to have questions about safety and privacy in the bill, he told Bloomberg Government.
Blumenthal told reporters he was also holding up the bill because he continues to want to see a provision that would allow a human driver to take control manually back from the computer driver. He offered an amendment to that end during committee markup.
Blumenthal withdrew it after the ranking member Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) told him during markup that such an amendment would “undermine the purpose of the bill.”
Thune told Bloomberg Government Nov. 28 the hotline process would help him to identify any issues there might be with his bill among Republicans.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) also offered and withdrew during the markup an amendment that would have added heavy trucks to the legislation, a move favored by Chairman Thune and co-sponsored by several other committee members.
Though Inhofe at the markup said he would offer the amendment again when the bill came before the full Senate, he did not put a hold on the bill over trucks, he told Bloomberg Government.
“I want to see it some day, but, no, I won’t be doing it,” he said about the trucking provision.
There may be other pending holds placed by both Republicans and Democrats, but Peters would not name names or issues when asked.
“I don’t want to negotiate in public,” he said.
Absent unanimous consent for the Senate bill, Thune said he would look for another “fast-moving vehicle” to get his measure passed.
“If we can get consent, we would like to move it that way.” he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Shaun Courtney in Washington firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at email@example.com
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)