With the Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee’s May 15 approval of a six-year, $260 billion reauthorization of the federal highway program (view ARTBA’s report on the EPW Committee action), it is now possible to evaluate two of the three proposals for the future of the federal highway program.

The Obama Administration released its four-year, $302 billion multi-modal reauthorization proposal in late-April.  The House of Representatives has not yet released its plans for the next surface transportation reauthorization bill.  Read a comparison of the Administration and Senate reauthorization proposals developed by ARTBA staff.

At this point, the Senate plan is incomplete, as the Senate Banking Committee must still produce legislation to reauthorize the public transportation programs and the Senate Commerce Committee is expected to develop reauthorization legislation for the commercial trucking and behavioral safety programs.

Neither the Obama Administration nor the Senate EPW plans include specific steps to generate the more than $100 billion in additional Highway Trust Fund revenues necessary to support the transportation investment levels contained in their bills.  Regardless of this critical omission, the policy and structural differences between the two proposals provides a glimpse of the debate that will occur as the reauthorization process moves forward.