Pressure on lawmakers for long-term transportation legislation
In addition to funding the nation'a highways and rail system, the aging infrastructure system is crumbling and there is a multi-billion-dollar backlog of projects. Congestion on U.S. roadways is getting worse, as pointed out by a number of state officials, including Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.
Leaders in Congress have promised that they will do their best to finish a long-term transit/highway/rail bill by Oct. 29, which is when the latest Highway Trust Fund extension will expire.
After Congress returns to session later this month, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is expected to announce its new version for a long-term funding bill. This would be just one step toward pushing a bill through the full House and later conferring with the Senate to discuss a version of the bill introduced there in July.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee that took the lead on the Senate bill and wrote its highway program section, recently said House leaders have said they were happy with the Senate bill and their latest offering will be "very similar."