ROADS/BRIDGES: Obama signs short-term highway bill but scolds Congress for inaction

Aug. 3, 2015

President Obama signed a short-term funding extension but scolded Congress for failing to approve a long-term transportation funding solution before lawmakers' summer recess. 

President Obama signed a three-month stopgap bill to keep federal highway funding from coming to a screeching halt but scolded lawmakers for failing to agree on a long-term funding measure.

The $8.1 billion measure approved by the Senate will extend infrastructure spending until Oct. 29. The Senate also approved a six-year highway bill, but House Republican leaders refused to address the measure before the House adjourned for summer vacation.

Obama said he had no choice but to sign the short-term fix to prevent an abrupt cutoff in infrastructure funding.

"We can't keep on funding transportation by the seat of our pants," Obama told reporters in the Oval Office. 

Obama also criticized Congress for failing to renew the Export-Import Bank, which was left out of the highway bill against the White House’s wishes, and for making little progress on budget talks.

"We should not be leaving all the business of the U.S. government until the last minute,” he said. 

Obama said the Ex-Im Bank "creates tens of thousands of jobs across the country.”

The House is set to reconvene after Labor Day.

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