Current Issue
Material Handling Wholesaler Cover
December 2017
Enjoy the December cover story as Dave Baiocchi helps you transition from supplier to strategic partner

Industry News

View Material Handling Wholesaler's profile on LinkedIn

House T&I Committee moves highway bill

On Oct. 22, the House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee unanimously approved the Surface Transportation Reauthorization & Reform (the STRR Act [H.R. 3763]), potentially a six-year bill providing $325 billion for roads, bridges and transit infrastructure ($261 billion for highways, $55 billion on transit, and approximately $9 billion on safety programs).

The committee’s decisive action comes as the House Republican caucus coalesced around Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) to be the chamber’s next speaker. While the bill contemplates flat funding, H.R. 3763 currently doesn’t have a revenue title (in other words, there’s zero money beyond the already inadequate Highway Trust Fund revenues) and Ryan’s ascension to House Speaker means he’ll be leaving his post as Ways & Means Committee chairman where he’d been tasked with identifying new revenue.

Whether the legislation is ultimately a six-year bill depends on Congress’ ability to come up with a way to pay for the final three years. Consequently, similar to the Senate-passed DRIVE Act, which provided three-years of guaranteed investment in a six-year authorization, the STRR Act is essentially a three-year proposal.

Far from perfect, the industry supported and AED-endorsed STRR Act does move the ball forward and gets closer to finalizing a multiyear highway bill this year. Given the House leadership race and the likely need for the chamber to choose a new Ways & Means Committee chairman to complete the legislation’s revenue title, quick floor action isn’t expected (necessitating another short-term,MAP-21 extension). However, once the House does approve H.R. 3763, a quick conference with the Senate’s DRIVE Act is anticipated as both are similar proposals.

Keep the pressure on: Visit and tell your lawmakers to save the federal highway program.

For more information about the STRR Act, visit the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s site.