Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) have introduced competing bills related to highway project funding, according to a story in BusinessWeek. The Senate version is a two-year plan totaling $109 billion; the House bill proposes allotments of $35 billion a year over a six-year period. The debate comes at a critical point in the future of highway construction, with the Highway Trust Fund likely to become insolvent next year.
Mica, chair of the House transportation committee, said that a measure passed earlier this year limited the new House proposal to what was currently available in the trust fund. Under the plan, states would receive project money from the trust fund via their infrastructure banks. The Senate bill, which needs $12 billion in additional funding to reach the $109 billion total, could possibly draw from defense spending, according to Boxer, who heads the Senate public works committee.