Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid calls on Democrats to plow forward on immigration Democrats brace for tough election year in Nevada The Memo: Biden's horizon is clouded by doubt MORE (D-Nev.) announced a deal with Republicans on Wednesday that paves the way for a final vote on a bill to fund federal transportation projects through next spring.
The deal will allow votes on an alternative bill offered by Sens. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerFirst senator formally endorses Bass in LA mayoral bid Bass receives endorsement from EMILY's List Bass gets mayoral endorsement from former California senator MORE (D-Calif.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperDemocrats say they have path to deal on climate provisions in spending bill Democratic senator: Methane fee could be 'in jeopardy' Climate activists confront Manchin outside of Capitol MORE (D-Del.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her MORE (R-Tenn.) that would fund the federal Highway Trust Fund only until Dec. 31.
It also sets up a vote on amendments offered by Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeTikTok, Snapchat seek to distance themselves from Facebook Cawthorn, Lee introduce bills banning interstate travel vaccine mandate Retreating economy creates new hurdle for Democrats in 2022 MORE (R-Utah) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).
A final vote on the underlying House bill, which is backed by the White House, could come Thursday.
The House bill would provide $10.9 billion to fund projects. It would use a number of offsets to pay for the costs of the bill. Without action by Congress, the fund would have gone bankrupt next month, ending funding for projects.
“Allowing the Highway Trust Fund to run dry would slam the breaks on critical infrastructure projects across the land,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight On The Money — Senate Democrats lay out their tax plans Senate Democrats propose corporate minimum tax for spending package Elon Musk rips Democrats' billionaire tax plan MORE (D-Ore.) said. “It is nonnegotiable that Congress is going to prevent that from happening.”
The trust fund gets its money from the 18.4 cents per gallon gas tax, which has struggled to keep up with the need for infrastructure spending projects as cars grow more fuel-efficient.
Most of the costs of the House bill are offset through "pension smoothing," which some senators in both parties have derided as a budget gimmick. Those senators want to only extend funding until December so that Congress is under pressure to work on a long-term highway bill after the midterm elections.
“Many claim that budget gimmicks should not be used as offsets to pay for spending.” Corker said. “I have long been against the disgraceful practice of spending money today and paying for it in the future. It’s shameful, it’s irresponsible, and it’s generational theft.”
— Keith Laing contributed to this article.