Fixing a looming problem in the Highway Trust Fund–at least for now–President Obama has signed legislation providing a $7-billion infusion for the trust fund’s highway account. The additional money, which will be transferred from the general fund, is expected to keep the account solvent through Sept. 30 or perhaps a bit longer.
Obama signed the measure on Aug. 7, the day the Senate began a four-week recess. The House’s break began on July 31.
When lawmakers return after Labor Day, debate is expected to heat up over how to reauthorize the federal highway and transit programs. The current authorization statute–the Safe, Affordable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: a Legacy for Users–is due to expire Sept. 30.
The final congressional action on the short-term trust-fund rescue came July 30, when the Senate approved the ‘fix’ by a 79-17 vote. That followed House passage of the measure the previous day, on a 363-68 tally.