AASHTO Urges Congress to Continue Work on Multi-year Highway Bill
Short-Term Bill Passed July 30 by Congress
The House passed a 3-month extension of the Highway Trust Fund just before leaving for August recess, forcing the Senate to pass the short-term patch. The Senate passed both their long-term DRIVE bill and the House's short-term bill. While the short-term bill restored the fund before the July 31 deadline, AASHTO, a nonprofit association representing local highway and transportation departments, urges the House to pass the Senate's 6-year bill before the fund's next expiration date, October 29.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials expressed relief that Congress approved a three-month extension of funding for the distressed Highway Trust Fund, and urged the House to follow the Senate's lead in approving a multi-year authorization that would establish much-needed certainty for state departments of transportation.
The short-term patch, which expires Oct. 29, sidesteps an immediate shutdown of the Highway Trust Fund by providing $8 billion from the general fund.
"We are pleased that Congress has sent the President legislation that keeps the Highway Trust Fund solvent through October, avoiding potentially serious disruption to state DOT projects and programs. But, this is the third time in 10 months that Congress has had to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent through passage of a short-term extension," said AASHTO Executive Director Bud Wright.
"AASHTO has long advocated for long-term surface transportation legislation because it provides certainty. We commend the Senate for approving a multi-year bill. It took strong leadership from both parties in the EPW, Commerce and Banking committees to write a bill that could earn such strong bipartisan support in the Senate.
"We urge the House to follow the Senate's lead and pass a surface transportation bill as soon as possible when they return to D.C. in September. We hope negotiations between the House and Senate lead to the kind of investment and reforms needed to keep America's transportation infrastructure strong. The potential for a long-term authorization is encouraging, and we look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to make that happen, before time runs out yet again."
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