WASHINGTON -- Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa on Tuesday praised the U.S. Senate for voting overwhelmingly to slam the door on the Bush administration's illegal, reckless plan to open our border to trucks from Mexico.
The Senate on Tuesday voted 74-24 to block funding for the pilot program, mirroring the House vote on July 24. The measure was an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2008 Transportation Appropriations bill. It was sponsored by Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa.
"The American people have spoken, and Congress has spoken," Hoffa said. "Now it's time for the Bush administration to listen. We don't want to share our highways with dangerous trucks from Mexico."
"On the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, I'm sure every American is relieved that the Senate voted to make sure that potential threats to national security aren't allowed to travel freely on our highways," Hoffa said.
The Senate action followed the tragic truck explosion that killed more than 30 people and injured 150 in Northern Mexico on Sunday.
The Teamsters have long fought against the cross-border trucking program. On August 30, a federal judge denied the Teamsters' motion for an emergency injunction to halt the program while its lawsuit is being argued.
The Teamsters' brief in the case is due on Nov. 19 before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The government's brief is due Dec. 17.
"Since Congress has only blocked funding for a year, the Teamsters will continue the fight against this unwise, unsafe program," Hoffa said.
Hoffa noted that the first truck to travel beyond the safety zone in Laredo, Texas, delivered steel in North Carolina. "Hasn't North Carolina suffered enough from the effects of these so-called free-trade agreements?" Hoffa said.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking women and men in North America.
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