House passes DOT appropriations bill, but it's unlikely to get through Senate

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line associate editor | 1/11/2019

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, Jan. 10, passed an appropriations bill for the Department of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development.

However, the bill may be more about political strategy and is unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled Senate, said Jay Grimes, OOIDA’s director of federal affairs.

“It’s sort of a strategy from the House Democrats with these spending bills to end the government shutdown,” Grimes said. “They’re passing versions of appropriations bills that the Senate agreed to last year. That’s kind of the basis for all of this.

“The general feel is that the Senate is not going to take this up. The shutdown politics is kind of overriding everything right now. It’s the basis for getting this passed, but it’s also the reason why the Senate won’t take it up even though they passed the same language last year in committee.”

The bill, HR267, would fund DOT, HUD and related agencies for the 2019 fiscal year ending Sept. 30. The bill also would extend the ELD exemption for livestock haulers.

Friday marked the 21st day of the shutdown, which ties the record for longest government shutdown in United States history. A shutdown during President Bill Clinton’s administration ended after 21 days on Jan. 5, 1996.

It is unclear how long the current shutdown will last. President Donald Trump has said he will veto any spending bills that don’t including funding for a border wall.