On Thursday, the United States Senate passed its six-year surface transportation bill by a vote of 65 – 34. APTA supported the passage of the Senate bill as a positive step in the process towards enactment of a long-term authorization. The Senate bill will now be sent to the House of Representatives, which is expected to craft their own long-term surface transportation bill upon their return from the August recess in September. Action in the House would then likely lead to a conference committee, where both bills would be brought for the House and Senate to reconcile the differences. For more details regarding this legislation, please refer to our previous Legislative Alert
Later in the afternoon, the Senate passed the House’s short-term authorization extension through October 29, 2015 by a vote of 91 – 4. This bill transfers $8.068 billion from the General Fund to the Highway Trust Fund, allocating $6.068 billion to the Highway Account and $2 billion to the Mass Transit Account. This further extension was necessary to provide the House with time to pass a long-term authorization bill in order for the House to complete its legislation and for both chambers of Congress to go to a conference. The revenue to fund this extension was found in tax compliance measures and an extension of aviation security fees. The extension is expected to be signed into law by the President, according to a press conference at the White House yesterday.