30-day extension passed--again

News ACPA June 24, 2004
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With less than a week remaining on the most recent highway program extension, the Senate and House of Representatives approved

With less than a week remaining on the most recent highway program extension, the Senate and House of Representatives approved a new 30-day extension. The measure extends spending authorizations for highway projects until July 31, allowing funding to continue at the annualized rate of $33.8 billion. The House vote on that bill was 418-0, while the Senate approved the bill by unanimous consent. It is expected the President will sign the bill before the current extension expires on June 30.


Meanwhile, during the second meeting on TEA-21 reauthorization among House and Senate conferees yesterday, senators formally approved a motion by Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) that the final conference agreement includes $318 billion in highway and transit funding. Having been officially presented with the Senate's recommended funding level, House negotiators now must weight the number and present a formal response on July 7, when the conferees meet again.


The conferees must agree on a number before addressing other issues, including the funding formula that will determine state-by-state distribution of the federal funds. Larger, more populated states that currently receive less than they pay into the fund want a return rate of at least 95%, which will be difficult unless total spending is close to the Senate's funding level of $318 billion.


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