Nearly 270 amendments filed for House highway bill
The number of amendments to a $325 billion transportation funding bill that is being considered this week by the House has topped 260 as lawmakers scramble to add their preferred provisions to the multiyear infrastructure measure.
Lawmakers on the House Rules Committee have added an extra hearing on Tuesday to consider amendments to the highway bill in addition to a meeting that was already scheduled to take place on Monday afternoon.
The panel says 181 of the proposed highway bill amendments are related to transportation-related provisions and 88 of the suggested additions are related to “non-transportation related” provisions.
Topics of the amendments include a proposal from Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) to nearly double the 18.4-cents-per-gallon federal gas tax that is traditionally used to pay for federal transportation projects.
The Oregon Democrat is trying to attach a proposal to increase the gas tax by 15 cents to the $325 billion highway bill to help pay for the final three years of funding, which is not guaranteed in the measure currently.
Other potential amendments include a proposal from Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) to allow states to increase a current limit of 80,000 pounds for cargo trucks to 91,000 pounds if they decide they want to allow heavier trucks that are being sought by trucking companies on their roads.
The House Rules Committee is scheduled to weigh amendments to the highway funding measure, titled the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, on Monday or Tuesday, clearing the way for potential floor vote as early as Wednesday or Thursday. The measure calls for spending $261 billion on highways, $55 billion on transit and approximately $9 billion on safety programs — but only if Congress can come up with a way to pay for the final three years.
The full list of highway bill amendments can be read here.
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