Thursday, May 28, 2015

Highway Extension Advances in Congress

Sign Highway Trust Fund Petition

Last night the House of Representatives approved HR 2353, a bill to extend the MAP-21 highway authorization through July 31, 2015.  The vote was 387 to 35.  A number of members had threatened to vote against the bill as a protest of how Congress has been handling (or mishandling) the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) solvency crisis and in opposition to the continued use of short-term extensions.  The Senate is expected to vote to approve a similar extension sometime today or Thursday.   Letters NAPA sent to lawmakers can be found here.

While a July deadline helps to keep the pressure on Congress to find a long-term funding solution, the chances of solving the HTF crisis within the next two months (or 31 legislative days) is very unlikely.  Most likely, come July, Congress will once again have to extend the program.

The primary hope according to Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) for finding sufficient revenues to authorize a six-year program is as part of a comprehensive tax reform package.  Sen. John Thune (R-SD) has also raised the idea of funding the Highway Trust Fund while extending a series of business tax breaks that are renewed annually, known as tax extenders.

When NAPA’s Legislative Committee meets on July 13, 2015 during NAPA’s Midyear Meeting in Denver, members will discuss the Association’s position on future extensions and ways to push for a long-term transportation reauthorization bill with increased investments for highways.   In the meantime, NAPA members are urged to arrange meetings with their Member of Congress back in the District to press them to enact a viable, long-term revenue source for the Highway Trust Fund.  Information on Districts visits can be found here.

Lastly, NAPA members are urged to sign and spread the word on a petition calling on Congress to fix the Highway Trust Fund.  To make sure congressional leaders hear us loud and clear, NAPA is striving to have thousands of transportation construction industry professionals sign the petition ASAP, which can be found here.

Editor's Note: NAPA's Director of Government Affairs, Michele Stanley, accepted a new position at the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association to be closer to her family.  NAPA is in the process of finding a replacement.  In the meantime, any questions about NAPA's government affairs or PAC programs should be directed to Jay Hansen at 

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