The Senate approved a two-year, $109 billion transportation and infrastructure bill, putting pressure on House Republicans to set aside their stalled version and pass the Senate’s before the federal highway trust fund expires on March 31st.
The National Retail Federation welcomed this news and added their voice to the Senate’s, urging the House to move quickly before the deadline.
“Our nation’s neglected transportation system has created bottlenecks and inefficiencies that are getting worse every day,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “As bad as things are, they will only get worse if Congress misses the deadline we face at the end of the month and leaves transportation funding in limbo. The House needs to follow the Senate’s example and pass a long-term funding bill as soon as they return from recess. Businesses rely on a dependable transportation system and jobs are at stake. Getting this bill done is critical to the competitiveness of U.S. industries.”
The Senate voted 74-22 to pass S. 1813, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, or MAP-21 Act, sponsored by Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. The measure would provide $109 billion over two years. The House is still determining how to move its $260 billion, five-year transportation reauthorization bill, H.R. 7, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2012. sponsored by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica, R-Fla.