President Obama signed H.R. 3236, Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, on Friday, bringing a close to the hand-wringing over the end of Funding for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).
This $8-billion provision marks the 34th extension for the HTF dating back to 2008, and will continue funding until October 29. However, there is much hope in Washington that the Senate’s DRIVE Act, which the chamber passed July 30, will be able to mesh with efforts the House is planning, and create a longer-term transportation funding solution.
The DRIVE Act is a $275 billion bill that, while written and touted as a six-year plan, would guarantee HTF solvency for three years with provisions for funding to be reviewed at the end of that 36-month period.
While Obama was quick to sign the short-term bill, he did tell reporters at the signing that transportation funding can’t keeping happening “by the seat of our pants,” according to a report by The Hill.
“That’s just not how the greatest country [in the world] does business,” he said. “I guarantee you that’s not how China, Germany and other countries around the world handle their infrastructure.”