Senate Democrats Vote To Run Over America’s Truckers And Drive Up Grocery Costs For Working Families

As Rising Grocery Prices Continue To Put Pressure On Working Families, Senate Democrats Today Sided With President Biden’s Radical Agenda, Keeping In Place The EPA’s Regulations Kneecapping America’s Truckers That Drive Our Economy


SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Earlier this year, the Senate made use of the Congressional Review Act to push back on a particularly dangerous part of the Biden Administration’s radical approach to environmental policy. Our colleague, the senior senator from Nebraska, put forward a resolution that would prevent the Administration from implementing even stricter emissions standards on the trucks and heavy equipment that literally drive our economy. Mr. President, the nitrogen oxide emissions of new trucks on the market today are already 98 to 99% lower than they were in the late 1990s. So we’re talking about regulation in search of a problem. In order to keep up with the rule President Biden’s EPA released in December, heavy auto manufacturers would be forced to add a dizzying array of new technologies to their products. By one estimate, the new requirements could raise the cost of a new truck by $42,000. $42,000, just to keep pace with the changing whims of unelected bureaucrats in Washington. As truckers themselves have warned, the EPA’s latest overreach will drive many of them to stick with, ‘older, less-efficient trucks, or leave the industry entirely.’ And needless to say, higher costs for the men and women behind the wheel means higher costs for food, fuel, and other essentials at the store. But that didn’t stop President Biden from vetoing Senator Fischer’s commonsense resolution. Well, today we’ll vote one more time. And we’ll find out once and for all whether Washington Democrats care more about keeping pace with left-wing climate activists than helping working families contend with the runaway inflation they helped create.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 6/21/2023)

SEN. DEB FISCHER (R-NE): “This specific regulation is an EPA rule that would impose stricter emissions standards on heavy-duty vehicles. While this might sound well-intentioned, let's be very clear about the facts. First, the EPA’s own economic analysis projects that the cost to Americans associated with this new regulation could reach up to $55 billion from 2027 to 2045. And that's because when you force truckers to purchase new, expensive equipment in the name of climate, you are asking the American people to foot the bill. Any product transported by trucks, whether those food headed to -- whether that's food headed to your local grocery store or something you bought off Amazon, each one of these products will cost more due to massive inflationary burdens this rule will place on the trucking industry. That means every American consumer will feel the effects of this rule and its price increases. Every agriculture producer and every local business will feel its effects. If you are an ag or energy-heavy state like Texas, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, or Illinois, Nebraska, California, or Montana, your local economy will be especially impacted by these higher freight costs. That's not to mention the three million Americans who work as commercial truckers.  Many truckers work for mom and pop operations, small businesses that simply don't have the financial resources to handle a spike in cost. Many of these businesses and the good-paying jobs that they support, they won't survive this rule. And you know the real irony here is that the way this, quote, green, unquote, regulation is structured, it actually undermines its own stated goal of reducing emissions. Think about it. If the price of newer vehicles shoots up, the government is incentivizing businesses to hold onto their older, higher-emitting trucks. So let's tell it like it is. The Biden Administration's emissions rule, it is a political move that won't even be effective. The administration is making an ineffective climate statement at the expense of millions of Americans’ livelihoods.” (Sen. Fischer, Floor Remarks, 6/21/2023)

  • “‘The irony is, the prices of newer vehicles will escalate, incentivizing truckers and businesses to hold onto their older, higher-emitting trucks,’ Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., sponsor of the resolution, said in a Wednesday floor speech. ‘Smaller, more affordable trucking businesses will close up shop, and the ones that can afford higher prices will raise their rates. This means consumers will be paying more money to a smaller group of businesses.’” (“Senate Passes Measure To Roll Back Truck Emissions Rule,” Roll Call, 4/26/2023)


Nearly Every Senate Democrat Voted To Uphold President Biden’s Veto Against Overturning The EPA’s New Costly Regulations On Trucking

Nearly every Senate Democrat voted to uphold President Biden’s veto of Sen. Fischer’s resolution overturning the Biden EPA’s new burdensome regulations on trucking. (S.J.Res.11, Roll Call Vote #167: Veto Sustained 50-50: D 1-46; R 49-0; I 0-3, 6/21/2023)


The Rule Will Increase Regulatory Costs And Jack Up The Costs Of Trucks

AMERICAN TRUCK DEALERS:With inflation still at a 40 year high, this rule imposes between $39 and $55 billion in new regulatory costs on the American economy between 2027 and 2045. Consumers will suffer the inflationary effects of the EPA’s rules by paying higher prices for food, clothing, and other consumer products that travel by truck. Today’s new trucks have already reduced NOx emissions between 98% and 99% when compared to the late 1990s. The EPA’s rule will likely result in keeping older, less clean trucks on the road longer. The best way to improve air quality is to incentivize fleet turnover and get pre-2010 trucks off the road. The implementation of the rule will raise the cost of some trucks by tens of thousands of dollars; as prices rise, new truck adoption will be delayed and older, less green trucks will remain on America’s roads.” (American Truck Dealers, Press Release, 12/20/2022)

  • “ATD [American Truck Dealers] is concerned that EPA’s proposed standards, including unreasonably longer useful life and emission warranty mandates, will cause CMV [Commercial Motor Vehicle] prices to skyrocket, resulting in a slowdown in fleet turnover. EPA’s proposed ‘Option 1,’ which is expected to impose as much as a $42,000 increase per vehicle, will cause a major ‘pre-buy/no buy,’ a significant deferral of new CMV sales, and a surge in late- model used CMV purchases. The result: major job losses, potential businesses closures, and a catastrophic impact on potential air quality improvements.” (“ATD Clean Trucks Plan,” National Automobile Dealers Association, 6/17/2022)

SEN. FISCHER’S OFFICE: “Last December, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its rule on NOx emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles sold in 2027 and beyond. This includes everything from a Ford F-250 to a large semitruck. The EPA estimates the standards would jack up vehicle costs, from a $2,568 increase for F-250s to $8,304 for new equipment on semi-trucks. The American Truck Dealers estimate it's more likely a $42,000 increase per truck. (Sen. Fischer, Release, Accessed 6/21/2023)


Transportation Costs Directly Impact The Cost Of Groceries

“Why aren’t prices falling at the grocery store? When food producers started raising prices a few years ago, they blamed their own costs, including higher ingredient prices. But ingredient prices have actually been on a downswing for months, and individuals are still paying more for food. In part, it’s because food producers have other expenses that remain pricey, like labor and transportation, compared to a few years ago.” (“The Cost Of Food Is Down, But Grocery Bills Are Still Up. Here’s Why,” CNN, 3/09/2023)

“Rising energy and transportation costs impact many things, food included. Trucking is the primary mode of transportation for food products, and the industry was already dealing with a shortage of drivers before the pandemic. Trucking costs have spiked during the pandemic.” (“Sorry Shoppers, Food Prices Are Likely To Keep Rising. Here's Why.” CBS News, 4/22/2022)


After Two Years Of High Inflation Accelerated By Biden’s Economic Policies, Americans Are Still Struggling With Higher Costs, Especially Groceries

American Families ‘Experienced The Largest Annual Percentage Increase In Grocery Food Prices Since The 1980s’ And Some Are Increasingly Turning To ‘Installment Loans To Pay For Everyday Items Like Groceries’

CNN: ‘US Grocery Prices Rose In May. Here’s What Got More Expensive’ (“Grocery Prices Are Rising In America Again. Here’s What Got More Expensive,” CNN Business, 6/13/2023)

“US grocery prices ticked up in May … From April to May, adjusted for seasonal swings, grocery prices got 0.1% more expensive, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index, a key measure of inflation. Overall, grocery prices were 5.8% more expensive in May than they were a year ago. Menu prices have risen 8.3% over the past year. Together, food prices jumped 6.7% throughout the year, once again outpacing overall annual inflation, which came in at 4%.” (“Grocery Prices Are Rising In America Again. Here’s What Got More Expensive,” CNN Business, 6/13/2023)

“Between August 2021 and August 2022, shoppers experienced the largest annual percentage increase in grocery food prices since the 1980s…. The U.S. Government Accountability Office’s Food Prices: Information on Trends, Factors and Federal Roles revealed for a year the increase was around 11%.” (“Grocery Food Prices Increase The Most Since The 1980s: Report,” Supermarket News, 4/10/2023)

“US consumers are increasingly using … installment loans to pay for everyday items like groceries, highlighting the financial pain wrought by the worst inflation outbreak in four decades. Grocery prices jumped 8.4% in the year through March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Almost half of Americans have used BNPL [Buy Now Pay Later] apps, and of those, about 1 in 5 rely on such apps to buy groceries, according to a recent survey from LendingTree Inc. Some 27% of users use the loans as a bridge to their next paycheck.” (“Americans Using Buy Now, Pay Later for Food Risk ‘Cycle of Debt,’” Bloomberg News, 4/18/2023)

THE NEW YORK TIMES: ‘Food Prices Rise Even As Inflation Eases, Straining Consumers’ Budgets’ (“Food Prices Rise Even As Inflation Eases, Straining Consumers’ Budgets,” The New York Times, 6/13/2023)

“After remaining flat for two straight months, food costs climbed 0.2 percent in May from the prior month, according to a Labor Department report released on Tuesday. That gain defied a cooling trend in inflation: Overall prices rose 4 percent in the year through May, the slowest pace in more than two years. On a monthly basis, food prices are rising at a slightly slower rate than they were earlier in the year, but costs are still much higher than they were before the pandemic. Over the last year, food prices picked up 6.7 percent, down from 7.7 percent in April. The price increases are particularly painful for households because food is an essential part of their budgets. Lower-income households tend to be hit harder because they typically spend a greater portion of their incomes on food.(“Food Prices Rise Even As Inflation Eases, Straining Consumers’ Budgets,” The New York Times, 6/13/2023)

The Cumulative Effect Of Inflation Since President Biden Took Office Has Americans Paying Significantly Higher Prices For Food, Groceries, Fuel, And Transportation

Since President Biden took office, inflation has increased 16% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 6/13/2023)

Americans Have Been Suffering From The Effects Of High Inflation For Over Two Years Now

May 2023 was the 26th straight month that year-over-year inflation was at least 4%, double the target rate of 2%. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 6/13/2023)



Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Regulations, Inflation, EPA