Highway funding cutoff averted at last minute sound familiar?
When the House passed a stopgap three-month transportation bill and left town for a month, the Senate had little choice but to approve the bill. Roads and other infrastructure are now funded until October 29, when chances are good that the process will repeat itself. After all, Congress has passed temporary extensions of the transportation bill 34 times in the past ten years.
This time, the Senate also passed a six-year transportation bill, which the House didnêt have a chance to consider in its rush to leave town. That bill pays for only the first three years, but stipulates that Congress must find a funding mechanism for the rest by 2018. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was proud that the long-term measure, which he negotiated with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), contains no new taxes.
The Senate bill would require a carês crash avoidance information to be put on the window sticker. It also includes a provision allowing states to use current highway program funds to invest in vehicle-to-infrastructure technology.
The House said it will work on its own long-term bill in the fall. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has said he wants to pay for transportation with an overhaul of the tax code.
The two chambers will then go into conference to hash out a version they can both agree on. But they will likely be distracted by funding appropriations for the overall federal budget, threat of a government shutdown over funding for Planned Parenthood and other Washington traditions.Download Bulletin PDF