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Amid Labor Shortages, Supply Chain Issues, Iowa Senators Call for Increase in Eligibility for Commercial Driver’s Licenses

As labor shortages plague the trucking industry and supply chain issues continue to impact Americans across the country, Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) are calling for more Americans to be eligible to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce.

“We write to you with growing concern for the labor shortage faced by the trucking industry. The truck driver shortage, coupled with the nation’s ongoing supply chain issues, has been extremely detrimental to the economy. If left unaddressed, inaction to grow America’s pool of truck drivers threatens to drive up shipping expenses, prolong delays, and burden already-strained consumers with additional costs… With these concerns in mind, we urge the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to allow persons 18 years of age and older to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce to get American goods and services moving again,” the senators wrote to FMCSA Deputy Administrator Meera Joshi.

“Our nation’s commerce hinges on interstate trucking, but the age of entry for this profession blocks the youngest members of our workforce from the career field…Those seeking an alternative pathway to an expensive four-year degree may find the three-year gap between high school graduation and the eligible age for interstate trucking inhibitive. It should be our policy to aid and encourage these capable workers.”

Ernst and Grassley are joined on the letter by Sens. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.).

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