SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE HIGHWAY AND TRANSIT FUNDING BILL PROGRESSES
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) said the Committee is working to move a highway and transit funding bill before the July 4th recess. Although Wyden called the plan “ambitious” and a “big lift,” the timeline will allow lawmakers to find a funding solution before Congress leaves for its month-long August recess, he said. “The goal is to be able to get a bill out of committee by the end of this work period,” Wyden said after a June 4th committee meeting to discuss various options to finance the Highway Trust Fund. “It’s going to be a big lift and we’re going to do it when it’s bipartisan, so you might need a little bit more time, so be it, but that’s going to be the goal.” Committee members were asked to submit their preferred funding options early the week of June 9th. During consideration of the tax extenders legislation (“Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act” (S-2066)) in early April, Sen. Wyden indicated that the highway funding bill would be the vehicle to fix the LNG highway tax discrepancy. Among other ideas on the table is a proposal by Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to levy a fee on oil at the refinery. The Committee’s ranking member, Orrin Hatch (R-UT), said he expects a short-term fix is needed for the Highway Trust Fund, which expires Sept. 30th. House Republican Leaders said they will propose a one-year extension of surface transportation legislation paid for by trimming Saturday postal services and raiding the balance of the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund. For more information visit http://goo.gl/qjI2kG and http://goo.gl/D6n3TA.