Obama signs short-term highway funding extension

Obama signs short-term highway funding extension
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President Obama on Friday signed a two-month extension of highway funding into law, the White House announced in an evening statement. 
 
The measure, dubbed the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2015, extends several aspects of infrastructure funding through the end of July. 
 
Those include highway aid and transit programs under the Highway Trust Fund, as well as freeing up monies in the fund and allowing tax revenues to be deposited in the fund.
 
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White House press secretary Josh Earnest criticized the short-term funding measure earlier in the day as lawmakers punting on the issue, encouraging Congress to pass a longer-term deal. 
 
The stopgap measure represents the 33rd temporary fix for road project funding since 2008, Earnest noted, leading to some uncertainty among states for major highway plans.
 
Obama was expected to sign the measure before a May 31 deadline, which would have caused an abrupt halt in infrastructure projects. 
 
Members of both parties have acknowledged a tricky path forward to secure about $15 billion a year to fund a highway bill for as long as six years.
 
“Senate Democrats want to get on a with a long-term solution, because we understand that you cannot have big league economic growth with little league infrastructure,” Sen. Ron WydenRon WydenSenate bill would repeal most ObamaCare taxes, delay Cadillac tax Live coverage: Senate GOP unveils its ObamaCare repeal bill Senate Dem: GOP healthcare bill will result in ‘a lot of pain’ for millions MORE (D-Ore.), the top Democrat on the Finance Committee, said last weekend.
 
Sen. Pat RobertsPat RobertsMeet Jay Sekulow, the new face of Trump’s legal team Overnight Healthcare: Senate GOP eyes July vote on health bill Senate GOP eyes July vote on healthcare MORE (R-Kan.) said last week he would love to “give some people some legitimate expectations, predictability.”  
 
“But I’m just not sure that we can get that done,” Roberts said.