August 5, 2009
The House and Senate approved a bill (H.R. 3357) to put $7 billion into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) in order to keep it solvent through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. President Obama has said that he will sign the legislation.
According to the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association’s eDigest & Washington Watch, before clearing the measure, the Senate defeated two amendments that proposed funding the HTF solvency fix with untapped economic stimulus funds, as well as an amendment to repeal the $8 .7 billion rescission of unused funds scheduled to take effect at the expiration of SAFETEA-LU. Originally, the rescission was agreed to when there was a substantial balance in the HTF, but there are not expected to be unused funds at the expiration of the current law, which means the rescission would result in additional cuts in the program. Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) promised to include language to repeal the rescission in an extension of the law that she anticipates the Senate will consider in September.