Transportation Bill in Limbo

The existing transportation law expires at the end of the month.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee introduced a blueprint for the federal transportation authorization bill in June; however, passage of another ambitious bill is unlikely with healthcare and climate change battling for attention. (The blueprint calls for $100 billion toward transit and $50 billion for high-speed rail.)

The Obama administration has asked for an 18-month extension of the existing law to coincide with the time period for stimulus spending. The reported Friday that backers of the new bill are considering a three-month extension, but are intent on pushing through a new bill as soon as possible–a move that Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said is important for saving 2 million green jobs.

In the meantime, green advocates want to push transportation policy into the Senate energy bill, according to Politico. Reportedly, the bill will set aside 10% of cap-and-trade revenues to finance public transit and passenger rails. The House climate and energy bill passed this summer set aside only 1% for such projects.

Read the Politico report at the link below.

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