Republican Governors Launch “Operation Open Roads” And Demand Biden Address Supply Chain Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, 15 Republican governors, led by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, issued a joint letter to the Biden administration asking the federal government to join Operation Open Roads, a multi-state effort to suspend burdensome regulations on the trucking industry in an effort to ensure small businesses and American consumers have access to the goods they need this holiday season.

The multi-governor partnership also seeks to suspend transportation regulations at the state level and is now calling on the Biden administration to do its part to alleviate the supply chain crisis by deregulating critical trucking functions.

Signatories to the letter include Governors Doug Ducey (AZ), Ron DeSantis (FL), Brian Kemp (GA), Brad Little (ID), Kim Reynolds (IA), Larry Hogan (MD), Mike Parson (MO), Greg Gianforte (MT), Pete Ricketts (NE), Doug Burgum (ND). Mike DeWine (OH), Kevin Stitt (OK), Henry McMaster (SC), Bill Lee (TN), and Greg Abbott (TX).

Portions of the letter included below:

As we approach the holiday season, our states are committed to ensuring the free and fast flow of commerce. Americans enjoy a high quality of life, and as government officials, our job is to not only maintain the standard of living for our citizens but to improve it. Getting goods to market is a fundamental baseline of our open economy, and under the Biden Administration, the American supply chain is in crisis.

Rather than unleashing the economy, President Biden dramatically increased regulations and rulemaking authority that prevent private sector growth. The President mandated vaccines on private businesses, putting more jobs in jeopardy as we work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. With 7.4 million people unemployed and 10.4 million job openings, we have a shortage of 80,000 truck drivers, an all-time high for the trucking industry. With more paychecks at risk, American families are forced to pay more for food, gas, and everyday goods as inflation surges to a 30-year high under President Biden’s watch.

If we can get government out of the way, our trucking industry can safely do what it does best: move. Our state economies are on the rise, and Operation Open Roads will help reinforce America’s economic comeback.

Therefore, as governors, we commit to using our authority where allowable to modify weight, size, or load restrictions to allow more cargo to move more efficiently; adjust hours of service constraints to provide truck drivers more time and flexibility; deregulate education and occupational licensure barriers to get more commercial truck drivers on the road; and convene state agencies in transportation, commerce, workforce, and other related fields to coordinate with private industry, local governments, and neighboring states where appropriate to ensure greater efficiency, connectivity, and data sharing among shippers and receivers at ports, distribution points, storage facilities, and other intrastate corridors for the expedited loading, unloading, and transport of freight.  Specifically for those states with costal ports, we commit to support our ports to operate at full capacity, increase tonnage capacity, and accept more Panamax ships waiting off the west coast.

View the full signed letter here.