LaHood: Congress will extend MAP-21 when current bill expires

Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHoodFormer U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood

Highway advocates — including the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC), Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and more — have been urging Congress to come up with a solution before the Highway Trust Fund, the main source of funding for state and local surface transportation projects, runs out, which could happen as soon as the end of July.

However, Ray Lahood, former Secretary of Transportation, predicts that won’t happen.

LaHood told National Journal he expects lawmakers to wait until the HTF is out of money before providing a short-term extension of the current bill.

“When September 30 comes and the highway trust fund is broke… they’ll pass an extension of MAP-21,” LaHood told National Journal. “They’ll take some money out of the general fund. They’ll limp through the election, and then I don’t know what will happen after that.”

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), the current surface transportation funding bill, is set to expire September 30. House Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) wants to have a version of the bill on the House floor by August, while Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Sen. Barbara Boxer has said she expects the Senate to begin working on its version next month.