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 Hill.com 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.