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Highway bill extension included in House continuing resolution today

One-year extension part of House of Representatives proposal to avoid shutdown

Democrats in the House of Representatives today proposed a Continuing Resolution (CR) that includes a one-year extension of the current federal highway bill.

The resolution is aimed at avoiding a federal government shutdown but included the highway bill, which is scheduled to expire on Sept. 30. The federal government shutdown could come in nine days without action. The proposal would fund the government through Dec. 11.

If approved, the resolution would ensure that current transportation programs would not lapse on their expiration date of Oct. 1. The extension would be a “straight” extension of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, better known as the FAST Act, meaning no increase in funding to existing programs. The proposal also would include funds needed to ensure the short-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), with a general fund transfer of $10.4 billion to the HTF, allocated for highways.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) quickly opposed the resolution, citing the omission of a $30 billion relief fund for farmers.

“House Democrats’ rough draft of a government funding bill shamefully leaves out key relief and support that American farmers need. This is no time to add insult to injury and defund help for farmers and rural America,” McConnell tweeted.

The House hopes to pass its resolution, including the one-year extension of highway programs, later this week. However, the resolution looks unlikely to see a vote in the Senate, meaning both sides will need to find compromise ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline, said ATSSA Manager of Government Relations Cameron Greene.

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