WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) today reintroduced the Veteran Improvement Commercial Driver License Act, legislation to ensure veterans’ GI benefits can be utilized at new branches of commercial driving program (CDL) schools whose primary institutions have already received regulatory approval.

Currently, if an approved trucking school opens a secondary facility in a new location, existing laws require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and state regulators to deny the branch’s ability to receive GI benefits for two years.

“Frustrating red tape is inhibiting some veterans from pursuing a career in trucking, which is vital to our modern economy. I’m proud to reintroduce legislation with Senator Padilla that will reverse unnecessary regulations and allow more veterans to take advantage of their well-earned GI benefits,”
 said Senator Fischer.

“Our veterans put their lives on the line in service to our nation, and we have a responsibility to support them and their families as they reintegrate into civilian life. This bill will expand veterans’ GI Benefits, career training, and educational opportunities to help them get quality, good paying jobs. Paving the way for more veterans to obtain their commercial driver’s licenses will also address a critical workforce shortage and keep goods moving along our nation’s supply chain,” 
said Senator Padilla.

The bill has received endorsements from:

Veteran Service Organizations:
 American Legion, Moving Veterans Forward, Student Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Great Plains Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America, Nebraska Military Officers Association of America

 International Brotherhood of Teamsters

 Werner Trucking, American Trucking Association, Commercial Vehicle Training Association, Nebraska Trucking Association


The trucking industry is currently facing
 a shortage of 80,000 drivers, with some estimates showing that number could reach 160,000 by 2030. Trucking shortages have a ripple effect throughout our nation’s supply chains, worsening bottle necks and delaying delivery times.

It is estimated that 8,400 commercial driving programs are approved for use by eligible veterans under the GI bill.

The Fischer-Padilla legislation would ensure CDL schools that offer courses at new branches do not have to wait two years if the primary institutions has been approved by the VA and State Approving Agencies to receive GI benefits. By clarifying this two-year moratorium statute, the bill will allow veterans more accessibility to nearby CDL schools and lead to high paying careers in the industry.

CDL schools must still comply with state and VA rules regarding curriculum standards to ensure no programs are exploiting veterans or offering fraudulent courses.

Click here to read the text of the bill.

Pursuant to Senate Policy, petitions, opinion polls and unsolicited mass electronic communications cannot be initiated by this office for the 60-day period immediately before the date of a primary or general election. Subscribers currently receiving electronic communications from this office who wish to unsubscribe may do so here.