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CRAMER: Driverless Cars and Menu Labelling Legislation Moves to House Floor

Jul 27, 2017
Press Release

Recording: Quote 1, Quote 2


WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer supported a number of bills approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee today including a bill to streamline the process for testing of driverless vehicles and a bill reducing regulatory burden for restaurants and convenience stores across the nation.


H.R. 3388, the Designating Each Car’s Automation Level Act requires the submission of safety assessment certifications by manufacturers of highly automated vehicles (HAVs) and requires the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to publish a rulemaking and safety priority plan for HAVs. The legislation requires manufacturers to develop a written cybersecurity plan. The legislation expands existing exemption authority for NHTSA to evaluate and approve exemptions from Federal motor vehicle safety standards only if there is no reduction in safety. Further, the bill expands the testing provision from the FAST Act to include additional entities who meet specific reporting and obligations.


“Driverless vehicles will revolutionize the transportation industry, and it’s not so far away,” said Cramer. “With the Grand Sky Technology Park near Grand Forks, our state is leading the way in autonomous technology, and it’s time the federal government catch up. If autonomous vehicles are to become mainstream on our roads, we need to develop a nationwide strategy for testing these vehicles while maintaining the safety of other drivers and pedestrians. This legislation moves the ball towards that goal.”


In addition to driverless vehicle legislation, the committee also approved H.R. 772, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2017, which would amend the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to establish workable standards for chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments in order to provide consumers with calorie information for standard menu items and avoid a patchwork of state and local requirements. Cramer is a cosponsor of this bipartisan bill.


The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires nutrition information, including the number of calories in menu options, to be provided to customers at restaurants or retail food establishment that have 20 or more locations.  This bill clarifies the information retail food chain establishments must disclose about nutrition to consumers to prevent overly burdensome regulations for establishments, such as convenience stores, supermarkets, grocery stores and pizza restaurants, and to provide flexibility in how restaurants display calorie information.


Specifically, the bill allows retail food establishments where the majority of orders are placed by customers who are off-premises at the time such order is placed, such as pizza restaurants, to disclose nutritional information on a menu available on the Internet. The bill also eliminates criminal penalties and allows restaurants and retailers to take corrective action.  In addition, it preempts civil litigation for violations of the federal menu labeling law and any state laws that may exist. The bill accommodates for inadvertent variations which occur during the food preparation process.


“Adding to the list of things in the Affordable Care Act that harm small businesses, the menu labelling regulations impose confusing and unrealistic expectations on our local convenience stores, restaurants, and grocery stores,” said Cramer. “The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act brings normalcy back to our small businesses, and gives them the certainty to run their business without risk of breaking the law.”


In addition to the legislation above, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, of which Congressman Cramer is a member, also approved H.R. 767, SOAR to Health and Wellness Act of 2017, H.R. 880, Military Injury Surgical Systems Integrated Operationally Nationwide to Achieve ZERO Preventable Deaths Act (MISSION ZERO Act), H.R. 931, Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2017, H.R. 2422, Action for Dental Health Act of 2017, and H.R. 3387, Drinking Water System Improvement Act.


Learn more about these bill here.