July 9, 2015
Rep. Paul Ryan, the chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, said Thursday that there isn’t enough time for a long-term highway funding bill to pass Congress before the August recess, and that a shorter fix through the end of the year is likely.
Congress has already passed one short-term highway fix this year — a funding “patch” ends on July 31 — and there have been more than 20 similar fixes over the past decade. Both parties have expressed interest in a six-year bill funding the nation’s highways, but Ryan said the limited time left before the deadline isn’t adequate to make that happen.
“We will have to do an extension through the year this month because it is impossible to put in place a six-year financing package for highways in the next two weeks, and we’re trying to impress this point upon our colleagues,” Ryan said at a breakfast hosted by Politico. “We want a six-year highway bill, we want a long-term highway bill, we want to give states the ability to plan ahead, but that means we have to come up with a way to do long-term financing.” Read on…