Finance Committee approves legislation to fund Highway Bill

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, Feb.8 - The Senate Finance Committee favorably reported legislation to reauthorize and raise a total of $10.5 billion for the Highway Trust Fund, which contributes to projects that maintain the interstate highway system. 

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Written by Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), The Highway Investment, Job Creation and Economic Growth Act of 2012, was favorably reported by a count of 17 to 6.

“This bill will make meaningful investments in transportation and will help create jobs in Montana and across the country,” Baucus said. “We need a highway system built for a 21st century economy. Our communities and businesses depend on effective transportation to help them grow, so we need to build and maintain highways to meet their needs, create jobs and improve our economy.”

According to the Federal Highway Administration, every billion dollars invested in infrastructure creates or sustains nearly 35,000 jobs.

The Highway Trust Fund primarily relies on fuel excise taxes for its revenue, but because higher gas prices are keeping many families off the roads, receipts have dropped. Baucus said the legislation would recoup those losses and reauthorize the trust fund to continue making critical investments.

The bill is a companion piece to the Moving Ahead for Progress for the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and now will be folded into the larger transportation bill for Senate debate.

A full list of amendments filed by committee members is currently available, and a description of the Modified Chairman's Mark of the legislation will be posted on the Finance Committee's legislation website here.


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