Republicans Introduce ‘TRUCKERS Act’ to Repeal COVID Vax Mandate for Foreign Truckers

Florida Senator Rick Scott led GOP senators in introducing the Terminating Reckless and Unnecessary Checks Known to Erode Regular Shipping (TRUCKERS) Act.

QUICK FACTS:
  • U.S. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) and eight other Republican senators have introduced a bill to exempt all non-U.S. citizen commercial truck drivers from vaccination requirements to transport goods into the U.S.
  • The bill comes as American truckers part of the “People’s Convoy”—modeled after Canada’s “Freedom Convoy“—embarked on their 2,500-mile cross-country trek toward Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to protest coronavirus restrictions imposed by the government.
  • “The TRUCKERS Act would exempt non-U.S. citizen commercial truck drivers traveling from Canada or Mexico who are seeking to temporarily enter the United States for business through a land port of entry from proof of vaccination requirements,” reads Senator Scott’s press release.
  • “Truck drivers are the backbone of America’s economy,” said Scott, who is also his state’s former governor. “My dad was a truck driver and I know firsthand how critical these men and women are to getting products flowing to American families and businesses again.”
  • The Florida senator also said that Biden’s inflation and supply chain crises are “devastating so many Americans, especially our poorest families like mine growing up.”
  • “By pushing these ridiculous mandates, he is only making things worse,” he went on to say. “The government has no business pushing mandates on families and our hardworking businesses and my TRUCKERS Act will help stop this nonsense in its tracks.”
  • “Joe Biden would be wise to take note of what’s happening in Canada and see that the top-down, ‘government controls all’ approach doesn’t work. I also urge Canada’s government to drop its ridiculous mandates on foreign drivers. I hope all of my colleagues will work with us to quickly pass this good and urgently needed bill.”
WHAT GOP SENATORS SAID:
  • Sen. Marsha Blackburn (TN) said, “Truckers and essential workers keep goods flowing and shelves stocked. COVID-19 vaccine requirements are overreaching and unnecessary. If the Biden administration is that worried about unvaccinated individuals entering into the USA, they should secure the southern border and stop the millions of unvaccinated illegal aliens from flooding into our country. Thank you to Senator Rick Scott for his leadership on this legislation. I’m glad to continue my efforts to protect essential workers,” according to Sen. Scott’s press release.
  • Sen. Mike Braun (IN) said, “When I ran my business, a third of my employees were truck drivers, so I know firsthand how important they are to our economy and our country. Federal government vaccine mandate are wrong and we should not make our supply chain problems worse by turning away commercial truck drivers temporarily entering the country for business for not showing their vaccination papers.”
  • Sen. Kevin Cramer (ND) said, “Vaccine mandates for truckers to enter the U.S. from Mexico and Canada are an extreme abuse of power with far-reaching consequences. We’re suffering through a supply chain crisis, and we need every trucker moving every product to every consumer and every place possible. Our bill provides much-needed relief from burdensome vaccine mandates to allow commerce to flow freely throughout North America.”
  • Sen. Josh Hawley (MO) said, “We’re in the middle of a supply chain crisis and skyrocketing inflation, and Joe Biden’s priority is to shut down truckers bringing much needed goods and groceries unless they get a vaccine shot. The people that decision will hurt most are American families. This mandate and others like them must be junked. Quit hurting working people.”
  • Sen. John Hoeven (ND) said, “At a time when we’re already facing supply chain constraints, it makes no sense to make it even more difficult to transport goods and products across our shared border. Hamstringing truckers with vaccine mandates just to cross the border only exacerbates the existing supply chain challenges. This legislation with Senator Scott will exempt truck drivers from providing proof of vaccination when they are crossing the border for business.”
  • Sen. Mike Lee (UT) said, “The truck driver shortage and supply chain crisis continue to wreak havoc on the US economy. Inflation is rampant and Americans are paying the price. Al that can be done, should be done to alleviate the harm. The TRUCKERS Act is designed to do just that. Striking down this mandate is an opportunity for members of Congress to show they stand on the side of prosperity, freedom and the American family.”
  • Sen. Roger Marshall (KS) said, “Make no mistake, Joe Biden’s supply chain crisis rages on and will have serious implications for years to come. However, unconstitutional vaccine mandates for the very people who keep our supply chain running only worsens the disaster at hand. I’m proud to partner with Senator Scott to introduce legislation that will protect hardworking truck drivers from this blatant government overreach and allow them to do their job, keeping store shelves stocked across the nation.”
  • Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) said, “The Biden Administration’s decision to impose a vaccine mandate on cross-border truckers transporting goods to and from Americans makes zero sense. Our bill will put an end to this craziness, help relieve the ongoing supply chain crisis, and restore freedom for North American truckers.”
BACKGROUND:
  • The TRUCKERS Act was filed one month after the Department of Homeland Security’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all foreign travelers entering the U.S. became effective Jan 22.
  • Rep. Carlos Giménez will introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives this week, according to Sen. Scott’s press release.
  • Rep. Giménez said, “Time and time again, Joe Biden has made catastrophic decisions that have hurt the American people. By imposing an unnecessary vaccine mandate on truckers from Canada and Mexico conducting trade with the United States, Biden has further stifled our supply chains and made trade with our most important partners too costly.”
  • “It is time for us to end this ridiculous vaccine mandate on truckers and begin taking steps to return America back to normal. Senator Rick Scott and I have been on the forefront of restoring our supply chains by reversing these disastrous decisions by the Biden Administration. I am honored to work with him again on this issue,” Giménez added.
  • Todd Spencer, President of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, thanked Sen. Scott for leading the effort, which he hopes will “reverse an arbitrary mandate that has slowed the movement of freight across our borders and made the already difficult job of trucking even more challenging.”
  • “Truckers are essential workers and federal policies should reflect the critical role they play in our daily lives. We applaud Senator Scott and his colleagues for introducing legislation to end this unnecessary and intrusive requirement,” Spencer went on to say.