Obama signs bill cutting $2.2 billion in highway contract authority

The House of Representatives passed a stimulus bill on Tuesday, Aug. 10 that will rescind $2.2 billion in highway contract authority apportionments from balances held by state transportation departments and President Barack Obama signed the bill into law the same day, according to a report in the AASHTO Journal.

The Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act, HR 1586, was passed by the Senate the previous Thursday (Aug. 4), forcing the House to be recalled from its summer recess, which began in late July, to quickly pass the bill (see August 6 AASHTO Journal story).

According to the AASHTO report, representatives voted 247–161 to pass the Senate version of the bill, which contains $16 billion to extend increased Medicaid funding for states by six months and $10 billion to help states cover teacher salaries for the upcoming school year. The bill is fully paid for with several provisions to increase taxes and cut spending, including the $2.2 billion reduction in highway contract authority.