Senate Finance Chairman suggests two-year highway bill

Baucus cites steady decline in gas tax revenue as main reason for such a move

News The Wall Street Journal April 14, 2011
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The Senate has yet to officially draft its version of a new highway bill, and by the looks of things it could be a shortened version.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said on April 14 that Congress may have to consider passing a two-year bill due to the steady decline in gas-tax revenues.

The move would either keep highway funding at current levels (about $42 billion) or it could lead to cuts. Whatever the outcome, Baucus warned that without action federal funding to states would decline to $28 billion annually.

President Barack Obama proposed a six-year, $556 billion highway bill, and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who is leading negotiations on a new Senate bill, has said she is committed to drafting legislation reaching that financial goal. However, alternative forms of funding have not been unveiled.

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