ROADS/BRIDGES: Congress rallies for a highway-funding solution

July 8, 2014

Short-term bill in the works following threat by Transportation Secretary Foxx

A week after Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx outlined a dark outcome if Congress failed to address highway funding by August, those on Capitol Hill are now in the trenches trying to get a deal passed.

In the works is a short-term solution that will at the very least fund the federal highway program through 2014. The Senate Finance Committee will review an $8 billion measure which will cover the next six months or so, and it appears those in the House are ready to compromise.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said Republicans are still looking for ways to pay for road and bridge projects. Last month leaders in the House suggested eliminating Saturday mail delivery as a way to provide a shot of funding, but the idea quickly lost momentum.

“[A deal has] got to get done before we get to August,” Upton told The Detroit News. “We’re at the bottom of the cookie jar and so that cookie jar has to get refilled.”

The Senate remains upbeat that a deal could be struck soon. Foxx informed lawmakers right before the Fourth of July holiday that states would experience an average of a 28% cut in federal funding if something is not worked out before the Highway Trust Fund hits a dangerously low level in August.

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