Transportation Programs Reauthorized by Congress >>

July 1st, 2012

Transportation Programs Reauthorized by Congress

On Friday, June 29th, the House and Senate passed the Conference Report for HR 4348, MAP-21, reauthorizing transportation programs through September 30th, 2014. Both the House and the Senate passed the Conference Report by wide margins: 373-52 in the House and 74-19 in the Senate. The legislation also includes provisions to extend low interest rates for student loans for one year and the National Flood Insurance Program for 5 years. This is the first long-term reauthorization of programs since the last Transportation Bill, known as SAFETEA-LU, expired in 2009. Since then, Congress has passed 9 extensions of that legislation. In March, the Senate passed S. 1813, MAP-21 with bipartisan support. However, although the House Transportation Committee did pass a bill out of Committee, the House was unable to pass a comprehensive reauthorization bill. Instead the House passed another extension of transportation programs that also included provisions authorizing the Keystone Pipeline XL, easing environmental regulations on coal-fired power plants, and streamlining the environmental review process for transportation projects. The House used this bill to request a Conference with the Senate on its MAP-21 legislation. At times, negotiations in the Conference Committee appeared to have stalled, but as the deadline for the expiration of transportation programs neared, House and Senate leaders worked to conclude a deal. The legislation will now go to the President to be signed.

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