- Short-Term Transportation Fix
- June 2, 2015
- Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
- Before leaving town for the Memorial Day recess, the House passed a short-term transportation patch - and the Senate is expected to do the same before they leave as well. The bill, which passed 387-35 in the House, will extend the program for two months. Without the patch, the highway trust fund would have expired.
President Barack Obama indicated that he will sign the short-term extension even if he would prefer a long-term solution.
The traditional source of transportation funding has been revenue from the 18.4-cent-per-gallon federal gas tax. The tax has not been increased since 1993, however, and improvements in auto fuel efficiency have sapped its purchasing power.
The federal government typically spends about $50 billion per year on transportation projects, but the gas tax only brings in $34 billion at its current rate.
Transportation advocates have pushed for an increase in the gas tax to pay for a long-term infrastructure package, but Republicans say asking drivers to pay more at the pump is a nonstarter.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has pledged to keep the Senate in session until it deals with both the Patriot Act (see below) and passes a short-term transportation extension.