The U.S. House of Representatives passed an $11 billion bailout of the Highway Trust Fund that also extends the current highway law until May 2015.
The measure, H.R. 5021, overwhelmingly passed the House by a vote of 367-55 and now moves to the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he hopes to take it up before the August recess.
Sen. Reid also said that he plans to allow votes on the recent funding patch approved by the Senate Finance Committee and a proposal offered by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
H.R. 5021 and the Senate Finance proposal both approve nearly $11 billion in transfers, primarily paid for through changes to pension contributions and customs fees and a transfer from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Fund, to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent and prevent the Department of Transportation (DOT) from slowing reimbursements to states.
Sen. Boxer, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, reportedly plans to offer an alternative, to address what she considers shortcomings in the other plans.
NATSO on July 14 joined more than 60 organizations representing every sector of the U.S. economy in urging the House and Senate to pass bipartisan legislation that would stabilize the Highway Trust Fund and prevent a shutdown of federal highway and public transportation investments across the country.
In a letter sent to Capitol Hill, the organizations said, “The possibility of a deficient Highway Trust Fund that shutters 100,000 construction projects that support 700,000 jobs and puts all new highway, bridge and public transportation investments on hold will further harm an already fragile economy.”
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