On Friday morning, the Senate passed a procedural vote to advance the surface transportation bill, only needing a simple majority of 50 votes. Overnight, however, one of the tax compliance “pay fors” was removed from the finance title of the bill causing a decrease of $1.8 billion in funding. This has led to significant cuts in the allocation of highway and mass transit accounts in the bill. We will provide more information in a subsequent alert.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has indicated that the Senate may remain in session through Saturday in an attempt to complete consideration of the bill, however it also appears that consideration may extend into the middle of next week. Leadership in the House of Representatives has expressed their concerns with the Senate bill, urging that the Senate take up the House 5 month extension to allow additional time to enact a long-term bill.