There are a few more miles left to travel on the already long road to a multi-year extension of the federal Highway Trust Fund.
Despite a long-term extension of highway funding being among the top priorities for Congress in July, federal lawmakers could only pass a three-month stopgap bill before the August recess.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) notes his chamber did pass a six-year funding plan on Thursday.
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“Sent it over to the House, the House had already left town, which I was disappointed,” Durbin said. “They started their August recess in July. I wish they had waited around a few days to pass a bill because what we’re trying to get is a long-term highway bill which means states and others can make plan for long-term highway construction.”
This marks the 34th time Congress has passed only a short-term fix since the last long-term funding plan was approved in 2005.
Durbin hopes the House approves the Senate legislation when it returns to Washington in September, but a sticking point may be a measure in the bill which reauthorizes the U.S. Export-Import Bank. The bank, which provides loans to U.S. companies looking to do business overseas, had its charter lapse earlier this year, and conservative Republicans have vowed not to vote to renew it.
Congress won’t be back in session until September 8.