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.