August 6, 2009
Re: Federal Transportation Funding
Last week, with the Highway Trust Fund facing insolvency within a month, the House of Representatives agreed to a compromise with the Senate, which will spend $7 Billion to allow the Fund to support projects through September.
House leaders have been pushing for a new $500 Billion six year program that would overhaul the entire transportation system. The Senate and the Obama Administration favor an 18 month extension for the Highway Trust Fund, during which time all would work on a new long-term transportation program.
Last week’s compromise keeps both options alive and will force further discussions on transportation policy, when both Houses return to Washington, next month. House transportation leaders will continue to push for a six-year transportation bill rather than the 18-month extension favored by the Administration and already passed in the Senate Committees on Environment and Public Works, Commerce and Banking.
The proposal offered by House Transportation Committee leaders James Oberstar and Pete DeFazio, which was adopted by the Highway and Transit subcommittee, would double current spending on federal transportation programs, but does not include a new funding source. The current source, the federal gasoline tax, is insufficient to meet currently authorized needs.
We will keep an eye on this next month and do our best to keep you posted on any developments.
For more information, contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.