House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) said the committee expects to markup a highway bill the last week of October, when the latest extension to highway funding law is set to expire.
Rep. Shuster and Rep. Peter Defazio (D-Ore.) met last week to try and finalize policy discussions after Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, encouraged the House T&I Committee to move forward with a long-term highway bill without financing from international tax reform.
The recent lack of agreement between Rep. Ryan and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) over how to fund the highway bill ultimately could make House officials more inclined to accept the Senate’s six-year, $350 billion bill passed this summer.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said Rep. Shuster seemed willing to consider the offsets included in the Senate bill following a meeting Oct. 6. Those offsets cover highway funding for three years.
However, several House Democrats said they plan to push discussions about raising revenue from the oil industry. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), for example, referenced a potential new fee a fee linked to ending the crude export ban that would go toward transportation. Rep. John Delaney, meanwhile, said he plans to address the issue of production fees from the oil industry.
With current highway law set to expire Oct. 29, it is expected that elected officials will pass another short-term extension until a House bill can be conferenced with the Senate’s six-year bill passed in July.
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