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09NR39 - MRF News Release - Extension of the Federal Highway programs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
19 December 2009

Contact: Jeff Hennie, MRF V.P. of Government Relations & Public Affairs


Washington DC Saturday, December 19, 2009 The US Senate passed a two month extension to the Highway bill in a rare Saturday Senate session. Just after the break of dawn, in the middle of one of Washington worst snow storms on record, the US senate passed a last minute extension of the Federal Highway programs. The House passed a similar measure earlier this week. The extension was needed because current programs expired on Friday December 18th, the extension will fund the programs through February 28th 2010. The measure will fund important road programs for the next two months, which is good; however these stop gap spending bills barely keep the highway projects and programs on life support. What we need is the full 6 year Highway Bill that Chairman Oberstar has written. However with the House and Senate and Obama administration spending tax dollars on everything but Transportation, that seems unlikely. President Obama had threatened to veto the spending bill due to some other, non transportation issues. The President is not expected to follow through on those threats. The legislation also contains some defense spending, and an extension to the Patriot Act. The MRF will keep you informed on this issue.