By Kent Hoover for Phoenix Business Journal
The U.S. House of Representatives voted July 15 to extend federal highway and mass transit funding for five months, an action begrudgingly accepted by business groups.
That’s because funding surface transportation projects through mid-December is better than the alternative: allowing the Highway Trust Fund to run out of money at the end of this month.
The bill passed the highway funding extension on a 312-119 vote. Senate leaders said they want to pass a longer-term bill, but it’s not clear if they’ll be able to agree on a plan by the end of the month.
Congress has made little progress on finding a way to pay for a six-year highway bill, the solution preferred by business groups. The most obvious solution — raising the federal gasoline tax — is a non-starter for most Republicans. An alternative is using revenue that would be generated by changing tax laws to encourage U.S.-based multinational corporations to bring money back to the U.S.
Robyn Boerstling, director of transportation and infrastructure policy for the National Association of Manufacturers, said American businesses deserve better than “a crumbling infrastructure where bridges and roads continue to age and fail our expectations.”
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