July 31, 2014

Rahall Votes to Advance Highway Trust Fund Fix

WASHINGTON, DC – As the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall (D-WV) worked with his colleagues today to complete House action on a bill that will keep workers on the job building America’s transportation network.

“Two weeks ago, I stood in this exact spot and urged passage of a Highway Trust Fund patch as soon as possible to keep our surface transportation programs up and running,” said Rahall on the House floor today. “With a single legislative day left to address this looming crisis, we need to ensure continued funding of our roads, bridges, transit systems, and the safety of travelers and passengers.”

By a vote of 272-150, the House voted today to advance the “Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014” (H.R. 5021), a bill that replenishes the Highway Trust Fund and extends current surface transportation law through May 2015.  H.R. 5021 was passed by the House on July 15th and amended and passed by the Senate on July 29th.  The Senate amendment, among other things, limited the bill’s timeline in order to put pressure on Congress to act on a longer term bill—something Rahall supports.  Unfortunately, the Senate amendment contained a major technical error—it did not fully offset the funding provided to the Highway Trust Fund.  The vote taken today effectively sends the original House-passed bill back to the Senate for final consideration.

“The House bill and the Senate amendment both help states get through the remainder of this construction season,” Rahall continued.  “And they both provide the opportunity for Congress to come together, on a bipartisan basis, and pass a long-term surface transportation law in the lame duck session. There is absolutely no reason that Congress cannot complete a long-term highway bill this fall.”