Thursday, March 22, 2012

Senate Highway Trust Fund Bill Scrapped By House Leadership

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica announced today, March 22, 2012, that he plans to introduce the ninth short term extension measure for the federal Highway Trust Fund, rather than bringing the Senate’s two year long term reauthorization measure to the House floor. Mica says his bill will only authorize continued funding and motor fuel tax collections through June 30, 2012.

The two year, $109 billion Senate legislation has been urged on House leadership by its sponsor Barbara Boxer of California, by Senator Charles Schumer of New York, and by Obama’s Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Schumer characterized the repeated short term Congressional extension measures as “a very bad idea … it’s a death of a thousand cuts.”  The Senate measure was passed by a bipartisan 74-22 vote, so it seems election year gridlock and political party rhetoric remain more important to House Republicans than leadership and policy solutions.

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