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Dueling Plans Shake Transport Outlook

Publication Date: 6/24/2009
Author: Tom Ichniowski
Format: HTML

With the current highway and transit authorization law set to expire on Sept. 30 and the Highway Trust Fund in deep, immediate trouble, a two-way tussle has arisen over what Congress should do next. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the White House want an 18-month highway and transit extension with a trust-fund fix. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.) and other leaders on the panel reject an extension and have proposed a $500-billion, six-year reauthorization. They want to see the trust fund repaired, but their bill is silent on that point. Missing so far from both LaHood’s and Oberstar’s proposals is a key element: how to pay for the plans.

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