Congress passes longer extension

News ARTBA October 05, 2004
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The House and Senate approved legislation to extend the federal highway, transit and safety programs through May 31, 2005

The House and Senate approved legislation to extend the federal highway, transit and safety programs through May 31, 2005. The extension passed the House 409-8 and was approved unanimously by the Senate. The President signed the measure into law the evening of Sept. 30. The extension authorizes eight months spending of the final FY 2005 highway and transit appropriated funding levels. The annual appropriations process is ongoing. The House Appropriations Committee has recommended $34.6 billion for the highway program and $7.25 billion for the transit program. The Senate Appropriations Committee has recommended $34.9 billion for highways and $7.75 billion for transit.


The extension bill includes a one-year redirection of revenue generated by the 2.5 cents per gallon excise on ethanol motor fuel sales from the federal General Fund to the Highway Trust Fund. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this action will direct an additional $940 million to the trust fund. The measure also releases the final $2 billion in FY 2004 highway authorizations and extends the budgetary protections, or firewalls, established by TEA-21, around highway investment.


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