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Federal Update: Congress Approves Temporary Transportation Funding Extension

August 1, 2014
On Thursday, Congress approved a temporary transportation funding extension providing $11 billion to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) for highways, streets and roads, bridges and mass transit projects.
 
The version approved now goes to President Barack Obama and reflects the proposal approved by the U.S. House of Representatives early in July.  

Under the House proposal, HTF will be funded through May 2015, therefore avoiding the estimated 28 percent funding reduction and U.S. Department of Transportation need for stringent cash management procedures. The proposal receives $6.4 billion by deferring employer contributions to employee pension plans, thus raising corporate taxable income and federal revenues. Remaining funds will be backfilled by customs user fees and a $1 billion transfer from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund.   
 
A competing Senate proposal introduced during the debate sought to extend transportation funding only until December. The House never voted on the bill, and moved to strike similar Senate amendments to the House proposal before sending it back to the Senate for eventual approval.
 
It is anticipated that President Barack Obama will sign the measure given his previous support for the House version. It is unclear how Congress plans to address the funding shortfall when or if it remerges next May.


 
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