House votes to extend highway funding through end of year

highway infrastructure

The House passed Wednesday another short-term highway funding bill, as the current short-term patch is set to expire July 31.

The patch is the third since 2012’s MAP-21 highway funding act expired last year, and it extends current highway funding levels through the end of the year. Wednesday’s vote passed 312-119.

The legislation, introduced just this week by Ways and Means Committee chair Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and co-sponsored by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chair Rep Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), would prop up the nearly-bankrupt Highway Trust Fund with a roughly $8.5 billion injection from the country’s general fund.

In a joint statement, Shuster and Ryan said Congress “need(s) more time” to produce a longer-term bill, hence the short-term measure.

The Senate has not yet introduced a funding patch bill, though several long-term highway bills have been introduced in Congress’ upper chamber.

Congress will recess for about a month in August, so to ensure highway funding continues, some type of highway funding bill must be passed before then.