September 05,2008

Baucus Comments on Highway Trust Fund


To: Reporters and Editors

From: Dan Virkstis for Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.)

Re: Highway Trust Fund fix

Finance Chairman Baucus commented briefly today on news from the Bush Administration that they will support legislation passed in the House of Representatives to replenish the Highway Trust Fund. Baucus has led the effort in the Senate to pass Highway Trust Fund legislation to provide money for good-paying jobs and badly needed repairs on the nation’s roads and bridges.

“Given several opportunities, the Senate has repeatedly failed to act to restore monies to the depleted Highway Trust Fund, most recently as part of the Jobs, Energy, Families and Disaster Relief Act that I sought to move through the Senate before August recess,” Baucus said. “I am encouraged that the administration is acknowledging the urgent need for funds to keep America’s bridges and roads safe while creating thousands of new jobs with critical infrastructure projects, and urge Senators who have blocked this vital funding until now to get out of the way.”

Highway Trust Fund timeline:

  • In September 2007, Baucus proposed a $5 billion highway fix, with offsets, as part of the Finance-passed FAA bill.
  • FAA bill was blocked in late April 2008, including the proposed Highway Trust Fund fix.
  • On June 26, Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) tried to move the Highway Trust Fund fix by unanimous consent without offsets.
  • Before August recess 2008, Baucus attempted to move an $8 billion Highway Trust Fund fix without offsets as part of the Jobs, Energy, Families and Disaster Relief Act, in light of expectations that the Trust Fund deficit was worsening. This bill was also blocked.