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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Congress looks to another short-term extension of transportation funding


A bill to extend federal surface transportation funding beyond Friday was introduced yesterday to give congressional conference committee members more time to work out their differences on multi-year transportation reauthorization legislation.

The Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015, Part II (H.R. 3996) would continue federal funding of surface transportation programs through Dec. 4, according to Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), who introduced the bill along with the committee's Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), and Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-Mich).

Earlier this month, the House passed a six-year surface transportation reauthorization bill; the Senate passed its bill this summer. Shuster said the House and Senate are making "good progress" in resolving differences between their respective bills.

"The conference committee needs the time necessary to meet in public, complete negotiations, and produce a final measure that helps improve America’s infrastructure," Shuster said in a press release. "This clean extension provides time for that process to occur and for the House and Senate to vote on the final legislation, without shutting down transportation programs and projects in the meantime."