Blumenauer says transportation extension a 'positive development'

The House on Tuesday afternoon is expected to pass the Surface and Air Transportation Programs Extension Act, H.R. 2887. The bill extends taxes that fund the Highway Trust Fund through March 2012, six months beyond their current expiration at the end of September.

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It also extends taxes that fund the Airport and Airway Trust Fund through January 2012, four and a half months beyond their expiration on Friday.

The bill reflects a deal between the two parties to extend the funding without major spending cuts, averting another transportation shutdown that would have been greater than this summer's temporary FAA shuttering over a funding dispute. Republicans have sought a longer-term deal that spends less — $235 billion over six years — while Democrats in the Senate have pushed for a two-year bill that spends $109 billion.

Blumenauer, while calling for longer and heftier funding, said he still supports passage of the bill this afternoon as a "positive development" that averts a funding disaster and shows cooperation between the House Republicans and Senate Democrats.

"Three months for aviation and six months for transportation is better than what we've been putting up with, but certainly not what our partners deserve," said Blumenauer.