Nov. 5, 2015 – This just in from the "It's about damn time" department. After years of temporary authorizations and days of debate on more than 100 amendments, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a six-year surface transportation reauthorization by a bipartisan vote of 363-64. The historic $339-billion measure allocates about $40 billion per year to repair the nation's failing infrastructure, although only three years are funded as of now. According to NSSGA, there were several amendments of note that passed or were rejected in the final House bill.
- NSSGA welcomed an amendment from Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wisc.) that improves the ability to transport aggregates. It increases the air-mile radius from 50 to 75 for the transportation of construction materials and equipment to satisfy the 24-hour reset period under Hours of Service rules.
- An amendment from Reps. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) creating a task force to develop long-term funding solutions such as increasing the motor fuel user fee, was not considered.
- NSSGA welcomed the defeat of a devolution amendment to transfer authority for construction projects to states and reduce the 18.4-cents-per-gallon gas tax by about 15 cents.
- Though the highway bill also included an amendment to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, amendments to strip or reform the bank were not passed.