Infrastructure funding is top priority for returning Congress
With members of the House on summer recess in August and part of September, lawmakers must act quickly to choose how to fund infrastructure -- and for how long -- without interrupting the federal transit and highway programs, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) said.
Late last month, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee proposed a $275 billion reauthorization for U.S. highway programs for the next six years. If the proposal becomes law, highway funding would increase as well as the new infrastructure and freight grant programs. Before it can advance, though, the proposal needs transit and safety portions added by two other committees, as well as revenue supplied by the Senate Finance Committee.
If the trust fund's expiration date passes without new funding plans in place, there could be vast shutdowns of highway projects. This would negatively impact the U.S. economy.
Multiple infrastructure advocacy groups and state officials have encouraged Congress to act as soon as possible to revive the trust fund, nothing that a number of highway projects already have been put on hold because of the funding uncertainty.