Leaders of the Senate Finance Committee said June 26 they will meet the week of July 7 to consider a short-term patch to the dwindling Highway Trust Fund, which will fall below its required $4 billion in July.
Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Ranking Republican Orrin Hatch of Utah made the announcement during a hearing scheduled to consider the Preserving America’s Highways and Transit Act of 2014 (PATH Act).
The PATH Act would approve $9 billion to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent through the end of this year in part by transferring $750 million from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Fund (LUST) to the Highway Trust Fund. The measure also would change the tax rate on liquefied natural gas (LNG) to a rate based on its energy equivalent of a gallon of diesel.
Sen. Wyden agreed to strike a heavy vehicle use tax increase from the bill that would have increased the maximum heavy-vehicle use tax to $1,100 from $550. The provision was projected to raise $1 billion over 10 years.
No votes were taken at the June 26 hearing.
Sen. Wyden and Sen. Hatch said the will be working with the House Ways and Means Committee to find a bipartisan solution to keeping the fund solvent during the July 4 recess.
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