ROADS/BRIDGES: Senate committee approves 6-year, $275 billion DRIVE Act

June 25, 2015

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved the $275 billion DRIVE Act, but still need to come up with a way to fund the measure. 

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously approved the six-year, $275 billion spending plan for infrastructure projects, but lawmakers still need to find a way to fund the measure.

The plan known as the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act, calls for allocating nearly $43 billion a year to the federal highway trust fund, a 3% increase.

The multiyear highway bill that is being called the most extensive reauthorization since 2005, when SAFETEA-LU was passed.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said the six-year transportation funding plan "will put America back on the map as the best place to do business." 

"Unfortunately, what used to be the best transportation system in the world is now deteriorating, and our global competitors are greatly outpacing us in their infrastructure investment," Inhofe  said at the Senate committee meeting.

American businesses rely on an efficient and reliable transportation network. More than 250 million vehicles traverse the highway system each year and businesses require a reliable transportation network to operate." 

The federal government's transportation spending is typically funded by a combination of the gas tax and transfers from other areas of the budget. 

Lawmakers face a July 31 deadline for the expiration of the current infrastructure measure, but are deadlocked on how to pay for an extension. 

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