Policy and Legislative Services

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7-28-2014 Federal Transportation Briefing

Highway Trust Fund
By a decisive vote of 367-55, the House passed its Highway Trust Fund bailout measure on Tuesday. HR 5021 provides a “clean” extension of MAP-21 through May 31, 2015, and would transfer about $10.8 billion into the trust fund (an amount presumed to maintain current program levels for that time period).  The transferred funds would consist of $1 billion from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Fund, and $9.765 billion from the general fund, offset with 10 years of revenue from “pension smoothing” and extended customs duties.  President Obama has said he would sign the bill.

The path in the Senate is less straightforward.  Majority Leader Reid has been working to secure a unanimous consent agreement to bring up the House-passed proposal.  However, the Senate adjourned for the week before consensus was reached on the number and type of amendments that would be allowed. 

A common theme of statements on the floor and in committee is that while a short-term rescue is essential, it should not be an excuse to delay work on a longer-term reauthorization bill and revenue source.  In fact, Senator Boxer and others have advocated for a short-term bill lasting only to Dec. 31, 2014, to force quicker action on a replacement for MAP-21. 
Funding/authorization expiration dates:
Sept. 30, 2014 – transportation appropriations (HR 3547, T-HUD)
Sept. 30, 2019 - water resource and development programs (WRRDA of 2014)
Sept. 30, 2013 - passenger rail and freight safety programs (PRIIA of 2008)
Sept. 30, 2014 - surface transportation programs (MAP-21)
Sept. 30, 2015 - aviation programs (Air Transportation Modernization & Safety Improvement Act, 2012)

Read entire article  7-18-2014 Federal Briefing