Short-term highway bill passes House panel amid partisan sniping

Short-term highway bill passes House panel amid partisan sniping

The House Ways and Means Committee has passed a bill that would fund the Highway Trust Fund until May. If Congress doesnêt pass a funding bill before it leaves on its summer recess in early August, the Fund will go bankrupt. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he expects the full House to vote on the measure the week of July 14, reports The Hill.

The bill, passed by voice vote, allocates $10.5 billion for transportation without raising the gas tax, which has traditionally paid for the Highway Trust Fund. Of the total, $7.7 billion is for highways. Most of the money comes from changes to federal pensions and revenue from a customs fee.

A $9 billion Senate bill would fund transportation through the lame duck session following this yearês elections, on the theory that lawmakers would be forced to come up with a longer term solution then. Others questioned that idea.

–We still have time in the 113th [Congress] to make some tough decisions, but everyone is so afraid of making tough decisions around here, especially with anything involving revenue,” said Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), according to The Hill.

Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said the Senate bill would lead to –higher taxes for more spending.”

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