House to Vote on 9th Transpo Extension Just as Time and Money Run Out

Reps. John Mica, Dave Camp, and John Duncan have formally introduced a bill that would extend federal transportation programs until June 30, without any changes to funding, policy, or gas taxes. It is officially known as H.R. 4239.

House foot-dragging on passing a transportation bill is getting repetitive. Photo: ##http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3213/3148902358_87416ed4fe.jpg##The|G|uk/flickr##

The 90-day extension would be the ninth passed since the last long-term transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU, expired in September 2009. The House passed the eighth extension of SAFETEA-LU in September 2011 by an unrecorded voice vote. No date has been set for debate or floor votes, but the extension does get a mention in Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s schedule for next week.

Mica’s proposal was introduced just one day after his Democratic counterpart on the Tranpsortation & Infrastructure Committee, Nick Rahall, introduced the Senate’s two-year bill in the House as H.R. 14. House Republicans have justified their opposition to the Senate bill by claiming they still prefer a five-year reauthorization, but the have not yet found a way to pay for it — the gas tax alone will not be able to cover five years of transportation funding at current levels.

In fact, Politico reported this morning that the Congressional Budget Office predicts the Highway Trust Fund’s balance will hit zero sometime in the summer of 2013 — which is even before the Senate bill expires. The Senate does not need to change their bill to accommodate the new estimate (they knew this would happen and built a cushion into the bill for just that purpose), but further extensions will only make it harder to stretch the trust fund to cover costs.

With both houses needing to raise new money for underfunded transportation programs, the question arises: What would Reagan do?

  • KillMoto

    Reagan would veto an extension, forcing the House to vote on the Senate bill…

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

House and Senate Agree on 6-Month Transpo Extension

|
Just days after a Senate committee asked the full chamber to consider a four-month extension of SAFETEA-LU, new negotiations have replaced that idea with a six-month extension at current spending levels. The bill also extends the gas tax. Over the weekend, the House and Senate decided to combine the long-overdue FAA reauthorization with the pending […]

House Passes Seventh Extension of Transportation Bill

|
Just in the nick of time, the House has passed an extension of the current transportation law. The sixth extension of SAFETEA-LU was set to expire this Friday. The extension is not expected to face any problems in the Senate. Although the House has been cutting every expenditure it can get its hands on, it […]

House Defies Veto Threat, Passes Drill-And-Drive Extension

|
In a brazen but expected display of defiance — both of the President and of bipartisan efforts in the Senate — the House voted today to extend transportation policy through the end of September with several contentious policy changes attached. The bill, whose name (The Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II) reads like the […]

House to Vote on Firming Up the Conference Deadline

|
UPDATE 3 PM: The text of the MTI doesn’t mention forcing a vote on the Senate bill. The House is about to vote on a motion to instruct, sponsored by Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN). It’s a non-binding command to the House members of the conference committee to finish their work by June 22 — this Friday. […]