The U.S. House of Representatives approved a five-month, $8-billion extension of surface transportation programs on July 15. The new extension would give lawmakers until Dec. 18 to find a longer-term solution.
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) released a joint statement on the bill, H.R. 3038, and said, "This country needs a long-term plan to fix our roads, bridges and other infrastructure, and this bill gives us our best shot at completing one this year. By providing resources through the end of the year, we can ensure construction continues while we work toward a package that could close the trust fund's shortfall for as many as six years. We urge all members who want some long-sought stability in our highway and transit programs to support this critical extension."
Meanwhile, Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) had a different view saying, "If kicking the can down the road were an Olympic sport, here in the United States Congress we would...win aluminum."
The bill will now head over to the Senate, where the Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation approved its own version of a multi-year transportation bill, S.1732.
Commerce Committee chairman, U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said, "The committee incorporated important bipartisan safety enhancements and approved a bill that enacts critical regulatory reforms. We worked hard to include input from both sides of the aisle, and we now have a bill that can move forward towards enacting a multi-year transportation reauthorization bill versus passing additional short-term extensions."
S. 1732 includes an extension of Positive Train Control implementation to 2018 for most freight and passenger railroads.
The News that's relevant to you.