GOP’s Fischer: Short-term highway funding fix is ‘very likely’

Updated May 7, 2015

The deadline for Congress to act on transportation funding is looming closer each day, but a Republican senator eased some concerns Tuesday.

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb) said at the start of a Senate hearing on the matter that she thought that an extension of federal road funding is “highly likely.”

The current Highway Trust Fund is set to expire May 1, and the fund is expected to run dry by August.

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Many lawmakers of both parties have called or long-term solutions like President Barack Obama’s Grow America plan and a similar bill introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-California) and Rand Paul (R-Kentucky). However, Fischer said Congress would mostly likely have to settle for a temporary extension of funding during a meeting of the Senate Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security Subcommittee, of which she is the chair.

“According to the latest projections, by August, the Highway Trust Fund will run out of money,” Fischer said during the meeting.

The House Appropriations Committee’s also recently introduced a bill that would provide a short-term solution by extending the funding for another year.

However, Association of the Equipment Manufacturers Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Nick Yaksich said that lawmakers are hurting businesses by delaying funding.

“A long-term highway bill would represent an affirmative step by this Congress to revers the decaying of our national infrastructure,” Yaksich said. “It’s a pro-growth solution that would promote commerce and help lower costs. And it supports job creation, both within the manufacturing sector and beyond.”