• Time Running Out for Highway Fix
  • May 15, 2015
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • Somehow, Congress has found itself staring at yet another highway funding deadline without a long-term deal in place. They have until just the end of this month to act, before the Highway Trust Fund runs out of money. But despite the deadline, lawmakers in both chambers and in both parties remain deeply divided on what to do. The lack of a long-term deal means that a short-term extension of the current program is more and more likely every day.

    However, even on the question of a short-term extension there is division. Some members would like to see an extension just to the end of July, others are pushing an extension to the end of the fiscal year, and finally some say an extension through the end of the year is the best approach.

    Whatever Congress ends up doing, whether it’s short-term or long-term, there is little time left to debate. They have until May 31 to act and, with the Memorial Day recess, they really only have two weeks of actual time left.

    The Chamber of Commerce, a big supporter of a long-term transportation fix, believes that if a long-term deal cannot be reached then Congress should only pass a very short-term extension. The Chamber and some others believe that a short-term extension helps to keep Congress’s “feet to the fire” on the issue. Others, however, like Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, believe that Congress needs more time to find long-term solutions.