Lawmakers Divided Over Highway Bill Extension

Although a short-term patch to the current highway bill is expected soon, Senate Republicans continue to disagree over how to fund an extension and how long it should last.

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.) has been pushing for a two-month extension that would keep the Highway Trust Fund afloat through July in hopes of forcing Congress to write a multi-year bill.

Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), however, reportedly favors an extension through December so that highway funding potentially could be dealt with in conjunction with tax extenders or tax reform.  

In an effort to ease the divide, Sen. Inhofe said May 8 that while he would still like a July patch, he also would support a year-end extenstion provided it leads to a long-term bill, Politico reported. 

Senators Inhofe and Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.) anticipate introducing a five or six-year highway bill within the next couple of weeks. Sen. Inhofe said May 6 the pair is close to an agreement on a bill, a price tag and a timeframe that it would cover. 

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman's photo

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman develops and executes communications strategies to advance NATSO’s public relations and advocacy goals. Tiffany also develops and oversees partnerships related to the NATSO Foundation’s public outreach initiatives. Tiffany lives in the D.C. metro area with her husband and their two sons.More

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