There is a short-term transportation fix in the works in Washington. The current surface transportation programs that are supported by the Highway Trust Fund are set to expire on May 31st, and it is more likely Congress will decide to pass a short-term fix rather than a long-term solution.
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) indicated there will be a short-term fix, but the goal is to pass a long-term reauthorization bill soon thereafter. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) indicated he is working on a $10 billion short-term patch through December 31 for surface transportation funding, while working on a long-term reauthorization that could move concurrently with a tax overhaul that includes corporate profit repatriation language. Various bills have been introduced to tie foreign earnings of U.S. companies to transportation and infrastructure funding, including the Invest in Transportation Act (S. 981), introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rand Paul (R-KY), and the Infrastructure 2.0 Act (H.R. 625), introduced by Representative John Delaney (D-MD).
On the Senate side, the Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security Subcommittee is holding a hearing today, May 5, on the surface transportation reauthorization with a focus on the importance of a long-term reauthorization. They have invited witnesses from state and local governments to give their opinions and comments.