Senate clears path for Highway Trust Fund vote

| 3/16/2010

The U.S. Senate ended debate Monday, March 15, on a bill aimed at creating jobs. Senators are scheduled to vote on the legislation, HR2847, on Wednesday. The bill would shore up the Highway Trust Fund through Dec. 31.

Once the bill passes, the Highway Trust Fund stands to receive $15 billion from the Treasury to keep federal and state transportation programs funded through the end of the calendar year.

Congress continues to work on long-term policy and funding scenarios for a transportation authorization bill – known as a highway bill – that will last the next five or six years.

But for now, the Highway Trust Fund is surviving on temporary stopgaps and short-term extensions.

The House and Senate have traded versions of HR2847, known as the jobs bill or the HIRE Act, during the past several weeks. The two chambers must agree on final language before it can be sent to the president’s desk for signature into law.

Also in the bill is a provision to extend the Build America Bonds program to fund large-scale infrastructure projects; tax breaks for businesses that hire employees; and certain tax write-offs for businesses that purchase equipment.

– By David Tanner, associate editor