Roll Call: Oberstar Maps a Course for Full Highway Bill
From Roll Call:
Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) is looking to turn the tables in his ongoing battle with the White House and Senate over transportation legislation. If the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has his way, the House this week will approve a $3 billion infusion for the ailing Highway Trust Fund before leaving town Friday. Doing so would head off a projected shortfall in the account that in mid-August would halt federal payments for highway projects — funds desperately needed by cash-starved states. Moreover, the gambit buys time for Oberstar to press his six-year transportation overhaul, also known as the highway bill, by throwing off a plan advancing in the Senate that would extend the current transportation law for 18 months beyond its Sept. 30 expiration. Senate leaders are aiming to pass the bill before the recess, but with the House scheduled to adjourn one week earlier, the Senate could be forced to act on a short-term fix to keep highway dollars flowing.
One third of America's major roads are in poor condition.