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[News] Sleep apnea bill clears Senate
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Sleep apnea bill clears Senate
Sleep apnea bill clears Senate, needs only president’s signature to become law

The U.S. Senate passed last week a two-page piece of legislation — the so-called sleep apnea bill — that would require that any action taken by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration pertaining to sleep disorder screening for trucking companies come via formal rulemaking and not guidance, as the agency had previously hinted it planned to do.

The bill now moves on to President Barack Obama, who can make the bill law with his signature.

Kevin Hall, communications director for bill co-sponsor Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), said the Senate’s vote was unanimous. The House cleared the bill with a unanimous vote, 405-0, Sept. 26.

The bill does not require that FMCSA take any action related to sleep disorder screening. It only prevents FMCSA from using guidance to issue what would essentially be informal rules, which, according to House bill sponsor Rep. Larry Buschon (R-Md.), would make carriers vulnerable to lawsuits.

It also would not allow the rule to be fully analyzed before becoming a regulation, Buschon said in a letter to colleagues last month when rallying support for the bill.

The legislation is supported by the American Trucking Associations and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

After the House introduced the bill, FMCSA issued a statement saying it would pursue rulemaking on sleep apnea screening rather than guidance.


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12-27-2013 09:54 AM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Sleep apnea bill clears Senate
What does that say in English, please?

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12-27-2013 07:08 PM
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Post: #3
RE: Sleep apnea bill clears Senate
(12-27-2013 07:08 PM)PaulaO2 Wrote:  What does that say in English, please?

My take is they're wanting to prohibit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) from issuing unclear and unenforceable "guidance policies". It would force them to issue a more substantial and official "rule" if they choose to create policy on sleep apnea screening, rather than a simple "guidance". In other words, if they are to create any policy on screening at all (under this law), it must be made under their clear rule-making process, which carry penalties if not followed.

This would also reduce lawsuits, as it would make the issues clearer and not subject to individual interpretation (where previously questions to be sorted out in court because the "guidance policies" left it open as to whether or not carriers were required to follow the FMCSA's "guidance").

However...
Quote:It also would not allow the rule to be fully analyzed before becoming a regulation

That part doesn't make much sense to me, because you'd think that a legislator would want rules to be fully analyzed prior to becoming a regulation (law). Dont-know

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12-28-2013 12:03 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Sleep apnea bill clears Senate
Ah, okay. So what they are doing now is making generalized guidances that can be interpreted in a variety of ways, making it confusing and biased. But under this law, they'd have to make it a clear rule that has to be followed by everyone exactly the same.

I think the last part must be a typo.

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12-28-2013 07:11 PM
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