October 26, 2015

U.S. House Panel Approves Long-Term Highway Funding Bill

Last Thursday, the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed a bipartisan plan to provide $325 billion over six years to fund federal highway projects. The Hill noted, “Supporters of the measure said Thursday's committee vote is the first step toward Congress passing a long-term highway bill for the first time in 10 years.” 

Unfortunately, the bill does not include key reforms supported by MSCI and its partners with the Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP). As a reminder, MSCI and CTP support the Safe Trucking Act, which would allow states to permit 91,000 pound six axle trucks for Interstate highway use. 

The Coalition and MSCI will continue to advocate for this bill and last week sent a letter to every member of Congress asking them to support the Safe Trucking Act as an amendment to the long-term highway bill when it comes to the floor for a vote. The letter noted that “dozens of states allow heavier trucks to travel on five-axle trucks by permit – often well in excess of the SAFE Trucking Act limit of 91,000 pounds” and that, “by allowing additional safety technology beyond what is required on other trucks, the SAFE Trucking Act provides states with a safer option for the movement of heavy goods.” Click here to see the full letter. 

A short-term transportation funding bill expires tomorrow, Oct. 29, which means the Congress will likely pass another short-term funding bill while it continues to work on a long-term legislative solution.