Business, Transportation Groups Urge Congressional Action On Highway Funds

Date: September 15, 2015

Current Highway Funding To Expire Next Month

As the October 29 expiration of current funding for federal highways looms, business and transportation groups are urging Congress to act swiftly. In June, Sen. James Inhoffe (R-OK) introduced the DRIVE Act, designed to provide six years of federal funding for the Department of Transportation, and the measure passed. However, leaders in the House rebuffed the bill “in part because it only contained enough money to cover three years worth of guaranteed funding,” The Hill reports. Now, a group of 83 business and transportation advocacy organizations has signed a letter urging Congress to take action on the issue. The coalition says in the letter, “It is now incumbent on the House of Representatives to keep the reauthorization process moving forward to ensure a six year bill is enacted before the latest short-term program extension expires October 29.” The groups noted that Congress has been unable to pass a transportation bill providing more than two years’ worth of funding in the past 10 years, and urged Congress “to end this cycle of uncertainty by advocating and voting for a six-year surface transportation program reauthorization bill during 2015.”

What Happens Next

Although authorization for the Highway Trust Fund expires on October 29, The Hill noted that the Transportation Department has said highway funding may “last well into 2016,” possibly allowing Congress to stall on the issue up to June 2016.

What This Means For Small Businesses

Small businesses need reliable, efficient transportation networks to move goods and services to customers. Federal funding for roads and infrastructure is key in maintaining operational roads and other infrastructure that small businesses need to keep their operations running smoothly. Congressional inaction on the issue creates frustrating uncertainty for businesses across the US.

Additional Reading

NFIB previously reported on other Transportation Department funding that passed in 2015.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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