After weeks of back and forth between the House and Senate, a short-term extension of the current transportation authorization with a temporary funding patch for the Highway Trust Fund is expected to pass the Senate later this evening, before Congress leaves town for their August recess. The bill is then headed to the president’s desk for his signature.
The bill – H.R. 5021, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 – will extend the authorization for federal highway and transit programs until May 31, 2014, and provide a nearly $11 billion general fund transfer to the Highway Trust Fund. This transfer is necessary to ensure that the trust fund can meet its funding obligations for the duration of the extension.
H.R. 5021 originally passed the House with an overwhelmingly bipartisan majority on June 15. On Tuesday, the Senate voted to amend the House-passed bill to shorten the length of the extension from May 31, 2015, to Dec. 20, 2014, and cut the general fund transfer to the Highway Trust Fund from $11 billion to $8 billion. The passage of the Senate amendment started a game of legislative ping-pong where the House voted to disagree to the Senate amendment by a vote of 271-149 with 226 Republicans and 45 Democrats voting for and 147 Democrats and two Republicans voting against. Following House action, tonight the Senate is expected to pass the original House bill and send it to the president.
Even with the funding in place and the authorization extended through May of next year, AGC remains committed to addressing a long-term funding solution for the Highway Trust Fund this year. We encourage our members to continue working through Hardhats for Highways to pressure their Representative and Senators to act on fixing the Highway Trust Fund this year.
For more information, please contact Sean O’Neill at (202) 547-8892 or email@example.com.