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American Shipper

House surface transportation extension introduced

House surface transportation extension introduced

   The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure said a vote is expected Wednesday on H.R. 3617, a bill that would extend the current Surface Transportation Act for three months. The bill was introduced Tuesday night.

   The bill directs the Secretary of Transportation to apportion highway funds to each state similarly to how it was done in the current fiscal year.

   The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has been planning to introduce a new six-year, $500 billion bill to cover highway and public transit construction, repair and safety.

   But the bill has run into resistance from the Obama administration and Senate because of concerns about the cost of the proposal and preoccupation with Congress and the president with the effort to pass health care legislation.

Oberstar

   In June, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar and other Democrats wrote to President Obama expressing “disappointment” in an administration proposal to extend the current legislation by 18 months, saying the extension “fails to acknowledge the severity and urgency of the challenges facing the nations surface transportation system” and contending it would “lock us into the discredited policies of the past.”

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