Congress passes highway funding bill

By |  August 1, 2014

Congress approved legislation that will ensure the Highway Trust Fund will have enough money to pay for badly needed programs to improve the nation’s infrastructure through May of next year, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The $10.8 billion bill was passed Thursday evening. It now goes to President Obama, who will sign it into law.

Congress took action just in time, as the Transportation Department threatened to cut federal aid for states by an average of 28 percent today. The Highway Trust Fund was expected to run dry because it relies on gasoline and diesel fuel taxes that have not been raised in 20 years.

More than half of the bill gets its funding from pension smoothing, a tactic that lets companies contribute less money to their pension plans, which raises profits and increases the amount of taxes paid on those profits, according to news reports.

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