AASHTO mildly 'pleased' with three-month highway-fund extension

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) continues to urge Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill, but still welcomed this week's three-month extension.

The Senate took the lead this week when it passed a multi-year funding plan, which  would give states more stability and certainty in their transportation projects and investments. However, the House adjourned for the summer recess without taking up the Senate bill. The president signed the short-term extension.

AASHTO expressed relief that Congress extended authorization of the Highway Trust Fund until the end of October. This was achieved by transferring $8 billion to the Highway Trust Fund from the general fund.

"We are pleased that Congress has sent the president legislation that keeps the Highway Trust Fund solvent through October, avoiding potentially serious disruption to state DOT projects and programs,” Bud Wright, AASHTO's executive director, said. “But this is the third time in 10 months that Congress has had to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent through passage of a short-term extension.

“AASHTO has long advocated for long-term surface transportation legislation because it provides certainty,” Wright said. “We commend the Senate for approving a multi-year bill. It took strong leadership from both parties ... to write a bill that could earn such strong bipartisan support in the Senate.

“We urge the House to follow the Senate’s lead and pass a surface transportation bill as soon as possible when they return to D.C. in September,” Wright said. “We hope negotiations between the House and Senate lead to the kind of investment and reforms needed to keep America’s transportation infrastructure strong. The potential for a long-term authorization is encouraging, and we look forward to working with Congress and the administration to make that happen, before time runs out yet again."

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American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

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