Window closing fast on highway trust fund

FreightWaves |

By John Gallagher | May 15, 2019

Next year’s presidential election could require some creative legislating to avoid seeing the Highway Trust Fund expire before it can be reauthorized.

“It’s our bad luck that the Highway Trust Fund [reauthorization] is set to expire October 1, 2020, five weeks before a presidential election. That doesn’t bode well for getting the trust fund reauthorized on time,” said Jeff Davis a Senior Fellow at the ENO Center for Transportation, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit research group.

Speaking on May 14 at a forum on Capitol Hill hosted by the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors, Davis said that having seven U.S. Senators – so far – announce their candidacy for a presidential run further complicates things.

“Next year is going to be an awful slowdown – I don’t see the Senate doing much after about February other than confirming judges around the clock – no one’s going to be around,” he said. That means “the window is closing rapidly” on getting transportation legislation passed between now and 2020 for which both President Trump and the Democrats could claim victory.

However, there’s still a chance that the Highway Trust Fund can begin to be refilled before Congress agrees on a long-term infrastructure plan to pay for roads and bridges.

Read more here.