The RPM Act is still active in both Houses of Congress, although it appeared that to be in a “gathering backers/co-sponsors” stage until recently. The bill was originally introduced in both Houses over a year ago and went nowhere. Members of this Congress re-introduced the bill in January, shortly after taking office, and it spent its first eight months in that “gathering backers/co-sponsors” stage.
House Committee Orders Bill Reported
The bill, H.R. 350, was referred to the House Committee on the Environment for consideration. This committee debated and considered the bill on one occasion after it was introduced, November 15, and was ordered to the chamber for the full House to consider the bill in session. While not a huge step, this is more than happened with the previous iteration of the bill.
The full chamber may or may not take up the bill. It depends on the Majority Leader and Speaker. Some members of the House may ask that revisions or additions be considered prior to any votes being taken. If it passes once a vote has been taken, it is then sent as is to the Senate for consideration.
Key Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Senate Version of the Bill
The Senate’s version of the bill, S.203, was introduced January 24, 2017 by Richard Burr of North Carolina. Once the required number of sponsors was obtained, the bill was referred to the Senate Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Committee for review and possible revision. That committee held a hearing on the bill, at which members of SEMA (specialty Equipment manufacturers Association) and upper management of some aftermarket suppliers read prepared statements to the committee.
Minor or wholesale changes can still be made to both bills. If either bill passes the chamber in which it originated, it would then be referred to the other chamber for consideration. If that chamber makes any changes to it, the bill would then have to go back to the originating chamber for new consideration.