News

U.S. House passes short-term funding bill

July 18, 2014

The U.S. House this week approved by a wide margin a short-term measure that would prop up the Federal Highway Trust Fund through next spring. That it was generally welcomed by the construction industry and transportation advocates speaks to the new level of expectation that the Congress has set for itself.

As reported in The Hill (click HERE to read), a widely-read inside-the-Beltway newspaper, “both chambers’ version of the transportation bill rely on so-called ‘pension smoothing’ — a proposal that budget experts across the ideological spectrum have dubbed a gimmick.”

Moreover, Congress has once again ignored the pleas of the business community, which is pushing for a long-term funding plan. The American Trucking Association and AAA have joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in this quest. Click HERE to read more.

The measure now moves to the Senate, where either the House version or a similar measure is expected to pass. If it’s the House version, it will move directly to President Obama’s desk; if it’s a measure that is different in any way it will be kicked back to the House for concurrence or reconciliation. The president has said he would sign the House version.

“Our state legislators mustered the courage and the will to provide a substantive, comprehensive, multimodal funding bill, with broad public acceptance and little if any dissent,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “To the extent that transportation is also a federal priority – and we certainly believe it needs to be – it’s time for Congress to step up and increase its contribution, which was last done in 1993. We’re doing our part, but we still need help.”

 

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