Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
2009 Transportation Bill

Oberstar to Back 3-Month Delay in Transport Bill As Soon As Next Week

House transportation committee chairman Jim Oberstar (D-MN) is readying a proposal to extend current infrastructure law by three months -- 15 months less than the delay preferred by the White House -- and could introduce the legislation as soon as next week, his office said today.

0131mnfederal_dd_graphic_oberstar.jpgHouse transport committee chairman Jim Oberstar (D-MN) (Photo: Capitol Chatter)

"It's obvious that we're running out of September," Oberstar spokesman Jim Berard told Streetsblog Capitol Hill, noting that lawmakers have become caught up by legislative battles over health care and climate change.

"We're at a point where a decision has to be made: it's either to extend for a short time or have the
whole system collapse," Berard added. "Under those circumstances of two bad choices," Oberstar is prepared to back a short-term extension rather than letting the 2005 federal transport bill expire at the end of the month.

A three-month delay, endorsed last week by Rep. Pete DeFazio (D-OR) would punt decision-making on transportation reform until just after New Year's. Even then, revenue-raisers on the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee are still likely to face considerable obstacles in paying for Oberstar's six-year, $500 billion legislation.

Berard acknowledged that the extension would have to be negotiated with House leaders as well as the White House and the Senate, both of which have already come out in favor of an 18-month delay. "We may, as early as next week, introduce a bill and start the process," he said.

That bill would be a "clean" extension," in Capitol parlance -- omitting data collection money and other small-scale reforms that the Obama administration has proposed.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Friday’s Headlines Are Still Unsafe

Traffic deaths are declining for those ensconced in thousands of pounds of steel. For the rest of us, not so much.

April 12, 2024

Measure HLA Is Now Officially Law for L.A. City

Check the city maps to find what bus, bike, and walk improvements are coming to streets in your neighborhood.

April 12, 2024

Talking Headways Podcast: Women’s Transportation Seminar

Sara Stickler of WTS International on women’s expertise in transportation and opportunities for mentorship, leadership and education.

April 11, 2024

Don’t Call Thursday’s Headlines a Comeback

Transit ridership isn't all the way back yet, but it continues to climb after collapsing during COVID. Unfortunately, the financial effects of the pandemic on transit agencies still linger.

April 11, 2024

Long-Awaited Report Reveals Widespread Parking Crime by NYPD

The overdue report confirms years of Streetsblog reporting on placard abuse, illegal parking and enforcement failures by the police under two mayors.

April 11, 2024
See all posts