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Well, it’s not the ideal solution, but this Band-Aid will at least keep the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) solvent.
Just days before the HTF was going to run into the red, the House yesterday approved $7 billion to shore up the almost empty fund, according to a Reuters report in The Washington Post.
This stop-gap measure will keep the fund solvent through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. That’s also the date when SAFETEA-LU expires. Although an 18-month extension has been put in place, not much work has been done to create a new surface transportation bill.
The 18-month extension could hurt many small businesses, according to sentiments from attendees at a July 8 meeting during the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) Mid-Year Meeting. Better Roads attended the conference.
Even with the extension, industry organizations, such as the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), is urging policymakers to continue working on a bill instead of waiting 18 months to start developing new legislation.
Last year, Congress approved an $8 billion transfer from the General Fund to the HTF to keep it from becoming insolvent before the end of fiscal year 2008.