Racing the clock, House introduces highway funding patch, goes through year’s end

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Updated Jul 15, 2015

interstate-highwayThe House introduced late Monday, July 13, another short-term highway funding bill — the third since MAP-21’s expiration last year — that would extend current highway funding levels through nearly the end of the year. The current highway funding patch is set to expire July 31.

The legislation, introduced by Ways and Means Committee chair Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and co-sponsored by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chair Rep Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), would prop up the nearly-bankrupt Highway Trust Fund with a roughly $8.5 billion injection from the country’s general fund.

In a joint statement, Shuster and Ryan said Congress “need(s) more time” to produce a longer-term bill, hence the short-term measure.

The patch introduced this week would secure funding through Dec. 18. The Senate has not yet introduced a funding patch bill, though several long-term highway bills have been introduced in Congress’ upper chamber.

Congress will recess for about a month in August, so to ensure highway funding continues, some type of highway funding bill must be passed before then.