House passes 2-month transportation spending extension

By |  May 20, 2015

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a two-month transportation spending extension 387-35, delaying decisions regarding long-term transportation funding until the Highway Trust Fund runs out in July, reports Reuters.

The measure will now be sent to the U.S. Senate for approval. The current highway program is due to expire May 31.

According to Reuters, the two-month extension resulted from lawmakers’ inability to agree on funding for a six-year transportation bill that would cost nearly a half trillion dollars.

The House’s transportation spending extension relies on money still in the Highway Trust Fund, says Reuters, requiring no offsetting savings and avoiding disruptions to job sites and road construction if approved by the Senate and President Barack Obama.

Because of rising vehicle fuel economy, fewer miles driven and construction cost inflation, the fund has experienced a number of shortfalls, reports Reuters. In addition, lawmakers have ruled out implementing a gas tax increase despite support from the trucking and industry groups.

State transportation officials and lawmakers have expressed that short-term solutions may keep existing projects going, but they will not be able to fund the launch of major new projects.

Also, the short-term solutions may lessen the demand for major construction materials, equipment and engineering suppliers, says Reuters, and negatively impact companies such as Cemex, Caterpillar and Granite Construction.

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About the Author:

Allison Kral is the former senior digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Portable Plants magazine, GPS World magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.

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