Fuel Smarts

House Deal Would Increase Highway Spending

March 18, 2002

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Last week the House Budget Committee approved a budget resolution that seeks to add $4.4 billion to President Bush's $23.3 billion request for highway funding.

The Senate Budget Committee is expected to meet this week and may also move to shore up the Highway Trust Fund, according to published reports.
Many have been concerned that highway construction will suffer because the President's budget will result in an $8.6 billion drop in highway funding from this year. The drop was because of formulas that link highway funding to federal fuel tax revenues, which are expected to fall this year because of an increase in the use of lower-taxed ethanol.
The Senate Finance Committee last month approved legislation that would help offset the problem by having ethanol tax revenue go to the highway trust fund, rather than the general fund. The measure is expected to be part of the Senate energy bill.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Highways and Transit Subcommittee will meet this week to discuss whether the trust fund system will continue to work in future years.

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