Senate sends stop-gap freeway funding invoice to Biden’s desk after House infrastructure drama

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The Senate handed a invoice to increase funding for the Highway Trust Fund on Saturday after House Democrats failed to return collectively to move a sweeping $1.2 trillion infrastructure invoice as a result of partisan infighting. 

Roughly 3,700 Department of Transportation staff are anticipated to be taken off non permanent furlough shortly after President Biden indicators the stop-gap measure. 

The 30-day extension handed the decrease chamber in a 365-51 vote on Friday, however was blocked by Republicans from passing on Friday night time. 

The Highway Trust Fund’s funding had expired on Thursday at midnight, with Congress having to behave swiftly to avert long-term issues in funding freeway and transit development applications.

Congress is barely licensed to increase transportation funding for a most of 30 days with out passing extra funding for the DOT. 

President Joe Biden.
President Biden mentioned he wish to see each the Highway Trust Fund invoice and the $1.2 trillion infrastructure invoice move.
Chris Kleponis/POOL/CNP/startraksphoto.com

Top Democrats within the House had been seeking to have the Senate-passed bipartisan plan handed forward of the expiration of final fiscal yr’s freeway funding. But progressive lawmakers vowed to tank the invoice till a bigger social spending invoice to deal with among the Biden Administration’s largest priorities together with local weather change and the growth of social security web applications. 

The turmoil over whether or not the invoice would move prompted a Capitol Hill go to from President Biden on Friday, who didn’t present a timeline to members, saying as a substitute he wish to see each items of laws move. 

Moderates fumed over Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) opting to not put the bipartisan invoice on the ground after being promised that it might be thought-about earlier than the top of the month. 

Highway construction.
Roughly 3,700 Department of Transportation staff are anticipated to be taken off non permanent furlough shortly after President Biden indicators the stop-gap measure. 
Rich Pedroncelli/AP

 Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), a co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, mentioned Pelosi had “breached her firm, public commitment to Members of Congress and the American people to hold a vote and to pass the once-in-a-century bipartisan infrastructure bill.”

The failure to move the bipartisan invoice sparked backlash from outdoors teams, who argued Congress didn’t act on a urgent matter. 

“Yesterday’s inaction on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act isn’t just disappointing—it lapses our highway, transit, and highway safety programs and halts work on vital transportation infrastructure around the country, which is detrimental to our economy and the quality of life of our communities,” mentioned Jim Tymon, The American Association of State Highway and Transportation government director, mentioned in a press release. 

Rep. Josh Gottheimer.
Rep. Josh Gottheimer mentioned Speaker Nancy Pelosi had “breached her firm, public commitment to Members of Congress and the American people” to vote on and move the bipartisan infrastructure invoice.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“We are dealing with very real repercussions. Thousands of federal employees at USDOT are being furloughed and $50 billion of federal surface transportation programs supported by the Highway Trust Fund are being suspended. This is unacceptable.”

Pelosi (D-Calif.) introduced a brand new deadline for the House to behave on the bipartisan measure as Democrats search for a path ahead on each payments. 

“It’s about time! There is an October 31st Surface Transportation Authorization deadline, after last night’s passage of a critical 30-day extension,” she mentioned in a “Dear Colleague” letter on Saturday. “We must pass BIF well before then – the sooner the better, to get the jobs out there.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced a brand new deadline for the House to behave on the bipartisan measure as Democrats search for a path ahead on each payments.
Michael Reynolds/EPA