The Senate approved legislation yesterday to transfer $8 billion to restore solvency to the federal Highway Trust Fund. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters had announced that federal-aid payments to the states would be withheld because of a shortage of funds.
Current projections show that the federal Highway Trust Fund may be as much as $8 billion in the red at the end of this year, thanks to sagging fuel purchases associated with high gas prices. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) indicated last week that because of the “dire consequences” of the current cash shortfall, the Bush administration would urge Congress to pass the House-passed Rangel bill (H.R. 6352) to transfer $8 billion from the General Fund to the Highway Trust Fund.
MITA has been actively involved in the federal push this summer, strongly urging Michigan’s delegation to support the $8 billion bailout. It is now hoped that the House will act swiftly so that the President can sign the bill as soon as possible.