December 6, 2021

Young Takes Action to Address Supply Chain Crisis

WASHINGTON – For years, U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) has pushed for a bill to fix the truck driver shortage – one key component of the country’s supply chain. Now, as a supply chain crisis continues to hurt consumer and businesses this holiday season, that bill has become law and Senator Young is pushing even harder for more solutions.

“Everywhere I’ve gone in Indiana over the last few months, high prices and empty shelves have been chief concerns for Hoosiers,” said Senator Young. “The people sent me to Washington to solve problems, and Democrats should join Republicans in taking action to fix the supply chain instead of haggling over a massive tax-and-spend boondoggle that will only exacerbate our current crisis.”

Among the list of Senator Young’s actions on the supply chain include: the DRIVE-Safe Act, the FREIGHT Act, and a supply chain mapping database.

Senator Young’s DRIVE-Safe Act helps alleviate the nation’s truck driver shortage by allowing drivers aged 18-20 to cross state lines. The bill became law on November 15. Under previous law, drivers in this age group could drive within states, but could not cross state lines. These drivers must complete additional safety training in order to qualify.

Additionally, Senator Young joined fellow Republican senators on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to introduce the FREIGHT Act. This bill would take important steps to address the ongoing freight challenges while also putting in place policies to support the transportation network in the long term. Specifically, the FREIGHT Act would enhance appropriate government oversight of transportation operations, minimize barriers for stakeholders to address unlawful shipping conduct, streamline certification requirements for truck drivers, and incentivize the use of new technologies to improve efficiency.

Finally, Senator Young successfully included an amendment in the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), also known as the Endless Frontier Act, that creates a voluntary online database to support supply chain mapping. This online toolkit will help American manufacturers divert supply chains from foreign countries back to the United States. The bill passed the Senate in June and is awaiting action in the House.

In addition to legislative activity, Senator Young joined his Republican colleagues from the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in inviting the Biden Administration to testify before the committee on the steps they have taken to alleviate the crisis.

“We have all seen the images of cargo vessels lined up for miles off the West Coast waiting to dock,” the senators wrote in the letter. “This committee would benefit from the opportunity to learn how your Administration is addressing the ongoing crisis and discuss potential solutions.”

To read the full letter, click here.