House passes bill to prevent government shutdown, extend FAST Act highway funding

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North Dakota Highway 5

With the nation’s main funding mechanism for highway projects set to expire September 30, the U.S. House passed a measure September 22 that would extend the program for a year.

The extension was included in a bill to avert government shutdown October 1 by funding the government through December 11.

The bill passed with bipartisan support in a 359-57 vote after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reportedly reached a compromise to keep the government running. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The one-year FAST Act extension involves transferring $13.6 billion from the government’s general fund to the Highway Trust Fund to maintain the HTF’s solvency, according to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. The bill calls for keeping spending at current levels – with no boost for inflation – of $47.1 billion for highways, $12.3 billion for transit and $14 billion to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, ARTBA reports.