July 16th, 2014
01:44 PM ET
3 months ago

Senate Democrats to back House highway bill

The highway funding crisis is about to end. (For now.)

Senate Democratic leaders have agreed to pass a nearly $11 billion House measure that would extend the life of the Highway Trust Fund through next spring, CNN has learned.

Two top Senate Democratic leadership sources said the plan is for the Senate to vote on the issue early next week.

The chamber will first vote on alternate proposals from Sen. Barbara Boxer, D- California, and the Senate Finance Committee, led by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon. But both of those are expected to fail.

Then, the sources said, the Senate will vote on the stop-gap highway funding bill that passed the House on Tuesday by an overwhelming 367-55 margin.

Multiple Democratic and Republican sources said the House bill is expected to also get strong bipartisan support in the Senate.

Some, including a few prominent Democrats, have criticized the House bill because it relies on funding from something called “pension smoothing.” That allows companies to contribute less to their traditional employee pension funds, reducing their tax break and increasing tax revenues for the government.

The competing Senate highway bill also includes pension smoothing, but to a smaller degree.

The Highway Trust Fund is set to hit a critical low point around August 1.

Without more money from Congress, states across the country have said they would have to start shutting down and delaying hundreds of road and bridge construction projects.

The trust fund is stocked by gas tax receipts, but those have been falling over the years for a number of reasons, including higher gas prices and more fuel efficient cars.

And Congress previously has stepped in to supplement the trust fund balance with general tax revenues.

soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. salty dog

    Call it what you want, sounds like the workers get to make more sacrifices, so the gop will cooperate, vote them out, and lets get some sanity in our system, and help our workers instead of sticking it to them on every issue.

    July 16, 2014 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    salty dog says:
    July 16, 2014 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm
    Smoothing huh, last time I heard talk like that was our shops new president reducing raises, calling it controlled growth, I left shortly after that.

    You can't really expect them to call it like it is do you salty????
    Pension screwing...,.

    July 16, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain: If you don't like Congress, get rid of the repub/tea bag majority

    @Chris..E.al: "It seems to me the leftist have thinned on this site and the one.s that remain seem kinder and gentler than in the past . Could it be sinking in ? Maybe ? Sweet baby Jesus :)"

    If you had any understanding of Jesus and what he taught, you would know he was a Liberal and would posting in support of those who put people ahead of money and not the other way around.

    July 16, 2014 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    tom l

    "As far as names go there's "tom l" and "Tom L" for starters. "

    ========

    I would think someone as intelligent as you would know that obviously those 2 names are the same person. Wouldn't I come up with different names if I was trying to multiple posts? And as far as why they are different (but the same), one is from my cell phone and the other is from my laptop. Pretty simple explanation. For a guy who says that people are crazy on the right for having conspiracy theories you sure are embracing one right here.
    --------------------------------------
    You have also "complained" about the infrequent spoofing of people's names to post an opposing view. You complained that it even sometimes to you, while pretending that the other name wasn't you at all. You also answered to the name "jennifer" last week, marveling at how long it took people to catch on.

    Like I said, when "tom" gets ignored you simply post under a different name. You are not the only one who does it, and you're far from being the first. Usually folks don't switch back and forth, though. One name makes a fool of his or her self to no end, and so they switch to a new name. You have used so many that it is hard to keep track. Like I said, frequently the names are a paraphrase of something that was posted that day.

    July 16, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    patNY

    States, not the Feds, should pay to keep their roads and bridges in good repair!
    ---------------------------------------
    They do.

    But, we also have an interstate highway system in this country that helped immensely in building up interstate commerce. That's where federal highway funds go, towards the interstate highway system.

    July 16, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. salty dog

    Chris, bless your heart.

    July 16, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. sonny chapman

    Hey patNY-There once was a Repub. Prez who thought that the WHOLE Country would benefit by investing in an Interstate Hwy. System. He figured the investment would be returned many times over. He's probably crying right now at how his Party is now acting.
    And because, as LBJ predicted when he signed Civil Rights & Voting Rights Laws,the White Dems. in the South would leave the Dem. Party. A White Flight. Guess where they all ended up ?

    July 16, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. it must be said

    Gotta love the Democrats that want to keep funneling money to their union supporters for endless road and bridge work. None of this goes to people who are out of work and need a job. It is all they seem to know how to do, pretend to create jobs with money we are borrowing and debt we place on our kids and grandkids backs.

    July 16, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Malory Archer

    bill
    What happend to our shovel ready jobs? Oh they were not as shovel ready as we thought.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yeah they were. However, the governors in red states took the $$$ and used it to cover deficits in their state budgets so they could then tout to low-information voters that they cut their deficits!

    July 16, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. Obama Snake Oil Salesman, Step Right Up!!

    Isn't it about time for another Cash for Clunkers deal? Maybe another TRILLION dollar stimulus? It all kept us at record unemployment for record time, let's do it again!! Yeah Obama!! I don 't know why everybody says he's so dumb... or is it incompetent?

    July 16, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. Malory Archer

    patNY
    States, not the Feds, should pay to keep their roads and bridges in good repair!

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Only state-owned roads. The Interstate system is a FEDERAL highway system, and therefore is the responsibility of the FEDERAL government.

    July 16, 2014 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Malory Archer

    Chris..E.al
    It seems to me the leftist have thinned on this site and the one.s that remain seem kinder and gentler than in the past . Could it be sinking in ? Maybe ? Sweet baby Jesus :)

    +++++++++++++++++++

    Nah, it's that your ilk has gotten more venomous and over the top in recent days which by comparison makes us "leftists" just "seem kinder and gentler".

    July 16, 2014 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    salty dog

    Chris, bless your heart.
    -------------------------
    For what? He used the Lord's name in vain.

    July 16, 2014 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    sonny chapman

    Hey patNY-There once was a Repub. Prez who thought that the WHOLE Country would benefit by investing in an Interstate Hwy. System. He figured the investment would be returned many times over. He's probably crying right now at how his Party is now acting.
    And because, as LBJ predicted when he signed Civil Rights & Voting Rights Laws,the White Dems. in the South would leave the Dem. Party. A White Flight. Guess where they all ended up ?
    ----------------------------
    Wasn't that the same Republican president who tried to warn his party of the dangers of falling in bed with the military industrial complex?

    July 16, 2014 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. OBAMA - THE OPEN BORDERS PRESIDENT

    ProudDem

    OBAMA – THE OPEN BORDERS PRESIDENT

    Sounds good – safe bet. Its not often you see anything sent from the House to the Senate even brought to a vote so that would be refreshing.

    Unlike the House? Immigration bill passed a year ago, had tons of money for securing the border, more than anyone had even asked for....and Boehner refuses to even bring it up for a vote
    ++++++++++++++
    Oh I am sure it had some border security along with whatever other asinine things Reid might have inserted into it. Don't get me wrong I think there is plenty of hypocrisy to go around both parties but the GOP does not openly advocate illegal immigration . We can leave that to the activists groups in the democratic party. They have Obama to telegraph that its okay to come, act concerned, and then request huge sums of money for a problem he just created.

    July 16, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    it must be said

    Gotta love the Democrats that want to keep funneling money to their union supporters for endless road and bridge work. None of this goes to people who are out of work and need a job. It is all they seem to know how to do, pretend to create jobs with money we are borrowing and debt we place on our kids and grandkids backs.
    ------------------------------–
    You shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you. Those same union workers are probably the same people who would build the right wing's "Great Wall up the Rio Grande". You gotta build it in the middle of the river. If you build on the riverbank then they can cross the river and be on U.S. soil before they even reach the wall. So, you gotta build it up the middle of the Rio Grande for hundreds and hundreds of miles. That's the only way it would work to in order to fully "secure" the border.

    Besides, if you don't pay for stuff, then how do you get it done? Oh, what was that you said? You get someone else to pay for it for you?

    July 16, 2014 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  17. Silence DoGood

    @Malory Archer
    Chris..E.al
    It seems to me the leftist have thinned on this site and the one.s that remain seem kinder and gentler than in the past . Could it be sinking in ? Maybe ? Sweet baby Jesus :)

    +++++++++++++++++++

    Nah, it's that your ilk has gotten more venomous and over the top in recent days which by comparison makes us "leftists" just "seem kinder and gentler".
    ----------
    Maybe Chris would feel more comfortable if the "leftists" threatened violence take over of the government, like the Tea Party folks do, every time we read about a new conservative policy.

    July 16, 2014 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. Bill from GA

    Chris..E.al – " It seems to me the leftist have thinned on this site and the one.s that remain seem kinder and gentler than in the past .

    While I'm not leftist enough to be in 'the gang' ( you have to agree with them at least 99% ), I am not kinder and gentler. I just can't get my best stuff past the censors at CNN.

    July 16, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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