The Cost of This Latest Delay


Are we all looking at the same thing? Are all the leftover Avatar 3-D glasses finding their way into D.C.? Here’s a good basic view of the cost of what’s happening in Washington because of Senate moves this week, this time from John Horsley, executive director of AASHTO.

Because of the impending expiration of the Federal Highway and Transit Programs at midnight on March 1, the Federal Highway Administration will be required to suspend Federal-aid payments to the States. These federal reimbursements of funds already expended by the states amount to roughly $800 million a week. The Federal Transit Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration would also suspend payments. On Tuesday, personnel of the FHWA, FMCSA, and parts of NHTSA will be sent home, causing FHWA and FMCSA to shut down.

 “We are deeply concerned about the severe impacts to state and local transportation programs of this disruption of the federal highway and transit programs,” said John Horsley, AASHTO executive director. “We commend Chairman Oberstar, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader Reid for reaching an agreement that will enable the House to pass the Senate version of an extension of the highway and transit programs, with the understanding that a later legislative fix will revise how highway discretionary funds are to be distributed. We hope Congress can move this legislation as early in the week as possible so reimbursements to the states can resume.”