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Surface Transportation Developments

June 23, 2015 – As the clock ticks down to the July 31 expiration of the current highway act extension, discussion of surface transportation reauthorization is heating up. Two hearings are scheduled this week on highway funding, according to RFTR HighwayBill 400NSSGA. The House Ways and Means Special Revenues Subcommittee chaired by Rep. David Reichert (R-Wash.) is holding a June 24 hearing on taxing repatriated foreign earnings to fund a multi-year highway bill, an oft discussed potential highway revenue solution. Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have introduced a voluntary repatriation bill and the president’s GROW Act, mandates it. Both House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) oppose repatriation except in context of comprehensive tax reform. The Senate Finance Committee is holding a June 25 hearing entitled, “Unlocking the Private Sector: State Innovations in Financing Transportation Infrastructure.” Also on June 24, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee plans to mark up its surface transportation bill, the DRIVE Act (Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy). Not yet public, EPW Ranking Democrat Barbara Boxer said the bill would be “robust” and “long term.” Stay tuned!