U.S. Senate leaders announce agreement on 6-year highway bill

FILE -- Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, who has put together a series of proposals, many of them measures to tighten tax law compliance, others to trim spending, at his office in Washington, June 25, 2015. More than 30 times over the past six years, Congress has mustered the money only for short-term extensions of the federal highway trust fund, the equivalent of repeatedly putting $5 of gas in an empty tank. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)
View Caption Hide Caption
FILE -- Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, who has put together a series of proposals, many of them measures to tighten tax law compliance, others to trim spending, at his office in Washington, June 25, 2015. More than 30 times over the past six years, Congress has mustered the money only for short-term extensions of the federal highway trust fund, the equivalent of repeatedly putting $5 of gas in an empty tank. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

“After months of discussion and a lot of cooperation from chairmen and ranking members, and staffs and members from both sides of the aisle, I’m happy to announce that Sen. Boxer and I have an agreement for a multi-year, bipartisan highway bill.”

That announcement came today from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on the Senate floor regarding the bipartisan Drive Act.

The six-year bill has three years of guaranteed funding for the highway trust fund, which is on a crash course to insolvency after July 31 (when the current short-term funding extension expires).

Just last week, the U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx warned Georgia transportation officials that the federal government won’t be able to meet its financial obligations to states after Aug. 1.

FILE -- Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, who has put together a series of proposals, many of them measures to tighten tax law compliance, others to trim spending, at his office in Washington, June 25, 2015. More than 30 times over the past six years, Congress has mustered the money only for short-term extensions of the federal highway trust fund, the equivalent of repeatedly putting $5 of gas in an empty tank. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

FILE — Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, who has put together a series of proposals, many of them measures to tighten tax law compliance, others to trim spending, at his office in Washington, June 25, 2015. More than 30 times over the past six years, Congress has mustered the money only for short-term extensions of the federal highway trust fund, the equivalent of repeatedly putting $5 of gas in an empty tank. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

A two-month extension that passed at the end of May was the 13th in a series of short-term extensions of transportation funding authority since 2009.

About 100 projects totaling $447 million are on hold in Georgia this year due to the federal funding uncertainty.

The Senate is expected to vote on the bill this week. See the full press release here.


View Comments 0