President Signs Bill Fixing Highway Trust Fund

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). Congress acted quickly last week when the Administration reported that there was an insufficient balance in the HTF to meet its obligations to reimburse states for ongoing Federal-aid highway construction projects. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters announced that because of the HTF shortfall FHWA would make payments to states once a week rather than daily and the payments would be reduced on a prorated basis depending on funds available. At that time Secretary Peters announced that the Administration had dropped its opposition to the $8 billion transfer. This action is expected to provide sufficient revenue to fully fund SAFTEA-LU authorized levels through FY 2009, the final year of the authorization. There remains some concern, however, that should the decline in miles driven continue due largely to the high price of gasoline additional HTF revenue may be needed. AGC has sent a letter to members Congress thanking them for acting expeditiously to keep the HTF from becoming insolvent.