By Dean Franks, senior vice president, congressional relations, ARTBA
The Senate Committee on the Budget March 28 passed a budget proposal that includes provisions allowing the full Senate to consider a Highway Trust Fund revenue solution this year. The plan is the first legislation from either the Senate or House that provides an opportunity for action on the HTF.
Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), who introduced the proposal, entered into the record a March 26 letter from the ARTBA co-chaired Transportation Construction Coalition supporting the HTF related provisions. It says, in part:
The next surface transportation bill will require at least $90 billion to pay for a six-year authorization law. The adjustment called for in the budget could permanently solve this crisis by raising existing or new user fees, dedicating them to the HTF and indexing rates to inflation.
For years, budget votes have been strictly along party lines, and this measure was no exception. All Republicans supported it, all Democrats opposed it. It is unclear whether the budget will receive time for consideration by the full Senate, since House Democrats and Senate Republicans are unlikely to reach a joint budget resolution.
ARTBA will keep members apprised of any action on this proposal or other developments with the HTF.