House T&I Committee Delays Action, Short-Term Highway Patch Anticipated

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee delayed the widely anticipated release of its long-term highway bill and subsequent markup on the legislation last week as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle try to work out several major policy differences. 

Chairman Bill Shuster told reporters on Sept. 11 after a meeting with panel Republicans that the committee could look to release the bill later this month or early October. Delaying the bill several weeks makes another short-term highway extension likely. Even if the committee and the Full House completes their work over the next several weeks, Congress will need time to negotiate a final bill with the Senate.  The Senate finalized a six-year highway bill in July.  
 
In addition to overall funding levels, it is believed that T&I committee leaders are trying work out several contentious policy provisions, such as "Buy American" requirements for infrastructure projects, changes to truck size-and-weight limitations, and the debate on expanding tolling on existing interstates. 
 
Some of the urgency to complete a long-term bill has diminished after the Department of Transportation announced that it expects the Highway Trust Fund to remain solvent until next Summer. Previously DOT estimated that the Trust Fund would fall short by mid-December.   
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Brad Stotler

Stotler represents the truck stop and travel plaza industry on legislative and regulatory issues related to transportation, fuels, labor and the environment. Prior to his advocacy experience at NATSO and in the trucking industry, Stotler worked as a Legislative Aide on Capitol Hill for an Illinois Congressman. Stotler graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, and has completed additional course work in a master's program at Johns Hopkins University.More
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