House, Senate to conference on new highway bill

By |  April 19, 2012

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an additional 90-day extension of the surface transportation program (from June 30 to Sept. 30) at level funding, setting the stage for a conference with the Senate on a multi-year surface transportation reauthorization bill.

Reported by the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA), the extension includes a Keystone XL pipeline approval provision and the RESTORE Act that would distribute money to Gulf Coast states affected by the BP oil spill.

Three amendments were added, including one offered by Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) that encompasses several environmental streamlining overhaul provisions. The other two amendments deal with Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund spending and coal ash regulation.

NSSGA says this is a “shell” bill designed by House leadership to get the House to conference with the Senate on reauthorization and complete work on a final bill that can be signed by the president by June 30.

House Republicans hope to force senators to attach the Keystone XL pipeline language to the Senate’s bill, while the White House says it will veto the bill if the Keystone XL pipeline provisions are included.

About the Author:

Darren Constantino is an editor of Pit & Quarry magazine. He can be reached at

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