Congressman targets short-term transportation-funding extensions

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) recently said he intends to provide an amendment to the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2015 (HR 2353) to end the cycle of short-term funding extensions under the surface transportation authorization bill, MAP-21.

MAP-21 expires on May 31, and HR 2353 would provide for a two-month extension for MAP-21, making this the 24th short-term extension since MAP-21 was last fully reauthorized. Republican party leaders are determined to pass an additional extension later this summer, which would finance transportation programs until the end of 2015.

The Blumenauer amendment would stop the House’s legislation from extending past Sept. 30 unless it is a six-year reauthorization bill that contains a minimum of funds that equals the current level of finances.

“This pattern of repeated extensions, and funding our infrastructure only months at a time, limits our ability to plan for the future and costs us money today,” Blumenauer said. “If we extend the program into the next fiscal year, it is nearly certain that Congress will be unable to pass a long-term bill before mid-2017. We all say we want a long-term bill. My amendment would force Congress to return to regular order and pass the six-year bill America deserves by the end of September.”

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U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-3)

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