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Phyllis Harden

Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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Highway & Transportation

October 7, 2008
The 110th Congress adjourned on October 3 after having completed action on the Economic Rescue Plan. In the final week of the session attempts to pass economic stimulus legislation, however, were unsuccessful. Senate leadership left open the possibility of returning for a "lame duck" session following the elections but the House did not. The House passed an economic stimulus bill (264-158) which included $12.8 billion for the federal-aid highway program; $3.6 billion for transit; and $600 million for airport capital improvement projects.
September 24, 2008
Both the House and Senate took action yesterday approving legislation extending for six months authority for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs and the aviation taxes to pay for them. The President is expected to sign the bill. This action was necessary because Congress has been unable to pass an FAA reauthorization bill which has been under discussion for the past year. The 111th Congress must now take up FAA reauthorization next year.
September 24, 2008
House Democrats are advocating for a second economic stimulus bill and infrastructure funding, including highway funding, is being discussed. AGC has sent a letter to the House pointing out the job creation benefits that results from infrastructure funding and pointing out that rising construction material prices and inadequate state budgets have resulted in fewer publics works projects going out for bid.
September 24, 2008
By a vote of 372-56, the House of Representatives today passed a continuing resolution (CR) to provide partial funds for Fiscal Year 2009 for those federal programs for which a free standing appropriations bill had not been passed, including the Department of Transportation. Fiscal Year 2009 begins on October 1, 2008 and the CR provides funds from then through March 6, 2009. Under the terms of the CR, programs will be funded at their FY 2008 level.
September 17, 2008
Taking the final step necessary to ensure that the payment of Federal-aid highway funds to states will continue uninterrupted, President Bush on September 15 signed HR 6532. The legislation transfers $8 billion from the US Treasury's general fund to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).
September 11, 2008
The House of Representatives today approved H.R. 6532 transferring $8 billion from the general fund of the Treasury to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). The vote was 376 in favor and 29 Republicans voting against. House action was necessary because the original version of H.R. 6532 transferred the funds on October 1. The Senate yesterday amended the bill to allow the transfer to happen when the president signs the bill, which is expected by the end of the week.
September 10, 2008
On a voice vote today the Senate today passed HR 6532, legislation transferring $8 billion from the general fund of the Treasury to the Highway Trust Fund to prevent a shortfall in available funds from slowing down Federal reimbursements to states for on-going federal-aid highway construction projects. The Senate amended the House bill to allow for the transfer to happen immediately rather then on October 1st. The House must now approve the amended bill which is expected to occur this week. The President is expected to sign the bill expeditiously.
September 5, 2008
Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters today acknowledged that the Highway Trust Fund has an insufficient balance to continue to make full and timely payments to reimburse states for on-going Federal-aid highway construction projects and will be forced to reduce payments starting the week of September 8. The Administration projected that by the end of September the balance in the Highway Trust Fund will be zero.
September 1, 2008
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) today commended the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for conducting a hearing on the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission's report to Congress and called on Congress to give due consideration to the report's bold and visionary plan for the future of surface transportation policy in the United States. Read the full Press Release.
September 1, 2008
The AGC/Chamber of Commerce Americans for Transportation Mobility coalition has released a study highlighting links between nation's transportation system and U.S. economic productivity, competitiveness, and growth.

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