The Senate is expected to vote on a bill Monday that would make it easier for people to use a crane travel service on a motorized crane for remote work.
The Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to approve a bill that would add a provision to a 2016 appropriations bill that made it easier to operate a crane in remote areas of the country.
The Transportation Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the nation’s airports, have been working for more than a year to increase access to crane travel.
They have sought permission from Congress to increase the number of crane permits that are issued to operators of remote crane operations.
The bill would add the option for operators to use the crane travel option if they meet a minimum amount of safety requirements, and if the operator meets the requirements for their permit and the company pays for the operation.
The bill is likely to pass, as Republicans and Democrats have been united on the issue.
It was supported by the transportation and trade groups.
The bill would also allow for the use of the crane transport service for any person who can demonstrate an emergency needs, including in cases where a person is transported by a member of the armed forces or the Coast Guard, or by a foreign national on an aircraft or vessel.
It would not allow the use for the first time of a crane operator who is employed by a federal agency.
The White House has been lobbying Congress to approve the crane services provision.
It has lobbied for an exemption for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is based in New York.
The chamber is pushing the bill in an effort to make it harder for businesses to operate remote crane sites, especially in the wake of an incident last month in which the operator of a truck carrying scrap metal was killed by a motorist who tried to use crane service.
The truck driver was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison.
The U.N. Committee Against Torture, which has been pushing for a crane service provision, is pushing for the bill to include a provision allowing the use if the person is an American citizen.
The legislation, introduced by Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., would expand the definition of emergency, including cases where an operator has reason to believe an emergency is imminent.
If the operator does not have a safety clearance or has a valid authorization from the operator, the person can use a remote crane service and operate without a safety certificate, he said.
“This bill would allow anyone to operate in a remote location,” Casey said Tuesday.
“The people who are using remote crane services would be able to do so with minimal requirements.”
The House approved the bill Wednesday by a vote of 419-0, with Republican leaders saying it would strengthen the rules for remote crane operators.
The House also approved a similar bill in June that expanded the definition and added the crane service to the bill.
The Senate will now vote on the bill Tuesday.