Call for Congress to Complete Long-Term Highway Bill This Summer
May 14 2015
WASHINGTON – Today, Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the two top Democrats on the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), introduced a bill to extend the authorization of surface transportation programs into July 2015. Currently authorization for these programs is set to expire May 31, 2015 although the Highway Trust Fund is expected to have sufficient funds to reimburse states for project costs through sometime in July 2015.
The bill also calls on the House and Senate to complete work on a long-term authorization of surface transportation programs and send a bill to the president for his signature as soon as possible.
“In the 10 months since the last short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund, we’ve come no closer to a solution for providing the long-term funding that is desperately needed to support a multi-year transportation bill. It’s clear to me that yet another long extension that patches the trust fund with an assortment of budget gimmicks only guarantees that we’ll push this issue right to the back burner, as we’ve done over and over again,” Sen. Carper said. “Aligning the expiration of transportation programs with the funding available in the Highway Trust Fund rightly keeps Congress’s focus on finding a responsible long-term solution this summer for this critical program. Time and again – six times over the past 10 years – Congress has kicked the can down the road and done a short-term patch, rather than made the hard but necessary choices to responsibly fund the Highway Trust Fund. This has left states and cities without the funding certainty that is required to plan and build any large transportation project. Our governors, mayors, citizens and businesses are counting on us to do better than we did last summer and give them the certainty they need for a 21st century transportation system. I fear the alternative – kicking the can closer to another election – is a recipe for letting them down yet again.”