Scott Jordan of Peculiar, Missouri, arrived at the nation’s Capitol early Friday morning with a mission – to meet with President Donald Trump and deliver his letter in person about how some small-business truckers are days or weeks away from shuttering operations because of low freight rates amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Jordan, the owner of Powerhouse Transportation, said he went to the U.S. Secret Service gate outside of the White House to ask for a meeting with the president and deliver his letter.
It appears he may get his wish.
A few hours later, Jordan said he met with Timothy Williams Jr., the Deputy Director in the Office of External Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior.
“He [Williams] came down to my truck and met with me and we had some political conversations and he took a picture of my letter and the statement about what we are here about and sent it over to the President’s office,” Jordan told FreightWaves.
He said Williams then looked at a copy of the notice from Jordan’s bank that all of his equipment is scheduled to be repossessed next week.
“He [Williams] looked at the repo notice and said he would contact the U.S. Small Business Administration to see what they can do,” Jordan said. “I told him, ‘I’ve already tried that and it didn’t work’ and he said ‘we’ll see.’”
Williams then asked for a hard copy of the letter to take back to the White House, Jordan said.
“I gave him a hard copy of the letter and an envelope I was going to give to President Trump,” he said. “Williams told me to hold on to the envelope ‘so you can give it to him in person.’”
Williams previously worked at the Koch-funded advocacy group Americans for Prosperity and served as deputy director of Trump’s first presidential campaign.
While Jordan said it’s too late to save his four-truck operation, he is in Washington to support others who may be teetering on the brink of closure.
“My company is going to die through this process, but I was able to find my owner-operators good companies to work for,” he told FreightWaves. “They didn’t want to leave, but I told them I am the captain of the ship; get on the lifeboat and go. I didn’t want anybody riding with me until the end because I wanted to make sure every driver was paid.”
In his letter, Jordan is asking that President Trump “freeze all debts for truckers and all citizens starting 90 days prior to the announcement of this crisis, through this crisis, and to continue until 90 days after the all-clear order has been given,” Jordan said.
However, as of press time, Jordan said he still hasn’t received confirmation of a set time or date on when or if he will meet with Trump.
“It all depends on his schedule, but I hope it works out,” he said.
Around 70 small-business truckers convoyed to the nation’s Capitol around 2:30 a.m. on Friday, May 1, to protest low freight rates amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group plans to remain parked along Constitution Avenue until May 4.
“All we want is to meet with President Trump and let him know that small-business truckers need a fair and equitable shake as many mega-brokers don’t want to even deal with companies like mine with fewer than 10 trucks,” Jordan said. “For somebody that’s given their heart and soul to this country to get treated like shit all the time, it sucks. This really is my last ride.”
This is a developing story.