Thursday, September 10, 2009

Highway Trust Fund Legislation May Pass In 2009

Although President Obama wants to put off action on a multi-year reauthorization of the federal highway trust fund until after the mid-term Congressional elections, House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James Oberstar and his Highways and Transit Subcommittee Chairman Peter DeFazio both are looking for passage of a reauthorization bill before Congress adjourns for the year this coming October 30. Oberstar's panel has marked up its portion of the six year reauthorization legislation, and is just waiting for House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel to figure out what new taxes will be needed to pay for the highway construction, since motor fuel tax revenues are declining as Americans drive less in cars getting more miles per gallon.

Richard Neal, Chairman of the Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee of Ways and Means, says his panel is continuing work on the revenue portion of the bill. "We could get something done this year," Neal said Tuesday. Along with state governments, thousands of road and bridge building businesses await the passage of this important legislation so they can get back to the business of planning their longer term future projects and bids.
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