Senate Clears Procedural Hurdle to Begin Debate on Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill

Posted on: July 24th, 2015 by NADO Admin

On July 22, the Senate approved by a vote of 62 to 36 a motion to proceed to debate on the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act (http://www NULL.senate NULL.cfm?p=blog&id=BAF1F342-3381-4D36-975D-BDB1FE91F28E), a six-year reauthorization of surface transportation programs.  The successful attempt came a day after the Senate failed to pass this procedural hurdle due to objections from Senators from both sides of the aisle over the amount of time they’d had to digest the financing portion of the bill.

While the DRIVE Act authorizes highway and transit policy for six years, the Senate Finance Committee has so far identified only three years’ worth of funding offsets totaling $40 billion.  Click here for a summary of the finance title.  The Senate is now working toward reaching an agreement on which amendment votes to allow.  The bill may become a vehicle for controversial non-transportation related amendments and debate is expected to dominate the Senate’s schedule next week.  NADO legislative staff will be tracking developments on consideration of the DRIVE Act closely and providing periodic updates to members.

The House has passed an extension of surface transportation programs through December 18 and does not seem inclined to take up the DRIVE Act before the current extension of MAP-21 and funding for the Highway Trust Fund expire on July 31.

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