What’s next for the US Transportation Bill?
16 March 2012 0 comments
You may have read in the press that the US Senate, by a vote of 74-22, has passed S 1813, the two year, $109 billion reauthorisation of the federal surface transportation program after voting on 30 amendments, many of which were not particularly material to the bill.
The focus of attention now returns to the House where the Republican leadership is trying to determine how to find enough votes to pass its version of a reauthorisation bill, HR 7. Unlike the Senate bill, HR 7 is a five-year $260B bill. While a five-year bill is clearly preferable, the House is not able to find sufficient funds to pay for the longer bill. Recent attempts to identify various funding options were very controversial and forced Speaker Boehner to postpone action on the bill. The House may be able to tweak its five-year bill to find enough votes to pass it; they could opt to scale the bill back to two years; or they could decide to pass something similar to the Senate-passed bill. They will need to make a decision very soon since the current short-term extension of the existing program expires on 31 March 2012. In any event, it is likely that another short-term extension will be needed while these details are sorted out.
What do you think?
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