The Senate Finance Committee last week convened a closed door meeting of its members to discuss the revenue challenges facing the Highway Trust Fund and potential short and long-term solutions.  Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked all members to convey their preferences on potential solutions by early this week.  Committee member John Thune (R-S.D.) told reporters after the meeting, “As a practical matter, I think it’s probably more likely that we do something near-term and figure out how we’re going to pay for it and then perhaps get into the longer-term solution.”  While senators participating in the meeting emphasize there is no consensus on a path forward at this point, Wyden and top Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) issued a June 5 joint statement rejecting proposals to use savings from tax changes relating to corporate overseas earnings as a way to stabilize the Highway Trust Fund.  Wyden also called the proposal unveiled by the House Republican leadership to use savings from ending Saturday residential mail service to support highway and transit spending through May of 2015 “a real head-scratcher.”

Wyden said he plans to advance a Highway Trust Fund proposal by the end of the month, but cautioned “it’s going to be a big lift and we’re going to do it when it’s bipartisan.”