Senate Committee Approves Six-Year Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill; Funding Remains Uncertain
WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 29, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — This week, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously approved the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act, a six-year reauthorization of surface transportation programs.
The bill would fund surface transportation programs at $278 billion, boosting overall funding by an average of 3% annually over current levels. It includes $2 billion in annual funding for a new federal freight program and creates a new discretionary program entitled the Assistance for Major Projects Program. While the DRIVE Act lays out a policy blueprint, the matter of funding the bill remains unclear. In May, Congress passed an extension of highway and transit programs through July 31. Surface transportation programs face a shortfall unless new revenue is identified by that time.
Congress is currently at an impasse over how to address funding needs and it is uncertain whether the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees will be able to find the revenue needed to fund a long-term bill. Another short-term extension seems likely, but even that will require several billion in new revenue. Click here to view the text of the DRIVE Act.