May Budget Bulletin: Highway Trust Fund Deadline Looms

WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate Budget Committee today released its May issue of the Budget Bulletin, focused on the looming Highway Trust Fund deadline. The Budget Bulletin will provide regular expert articles by committee analysts on the issues before Congress relating to the budget, deficits, debt, and the economy.

Read the full Senate Budget Bulletin here.

Excerpts follow:

“Highway Trust Fund authorization expires on May 31, and the actual deadline for congressional passage of a reauthorization funding fix is the end of this week. For now, Congress is likely to pass a two-month extension through July 31. The House is expected to vote on a two-month bill later today. A two-month reauthorization would not require a General Fund of the Treasury transfer, eliminating the need for offsets.

“Continued federal support for critical road and bridge construction projects hangs in the balance. In order to prevent any lapse, the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee have spent weeks exploring options for a surface transportation extension bill. As the deadline looms, a bipartisan group of lawmakers has coalesced around a two-month reauthorization at baseline levels.

“The challenge of finding funds to cover highways is far from new: Since 2001, spending from the Highway Trust Fund has consistently and increasingly outpaced revenues. The Trust Fund currently is insolvent. Unfortunately, patches have become a necessary substitute for a long-term solution to the fund’s insolvency. Agreeing on a new six-year funding bill, for example, would require approximately $90 billion to somehow make up the difference between the spending called for and the revenues projected to flow into the fund.”

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