July 29,2005

Baucus Cements Deal on Highway Bill

Congress Sends Final Package to President Bush for Signature

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) The House of Representatives and the Senate overwhelming voted toreauthorize the federal transportation program, H.R. 3, the Transportation Equity Act: A Legacyfor Users. U.S. Senator Max Baucus was the lead Democratic negotiator during conference talksand played a key role in the final agreement.

“Millions of Americans will enjoy shorter commutes, less time behind the wheel, betterroads, and improved transportation safety,” Baucus said. “This bill will significantly affectmillions of people’s lives for the better.”

Baucus emphad the legislation will sustain millions of jobs and provide a boost to thenation’s economy.

“This is more than a highway bill, it’s a jobs bill,” Baucus said. “In my home state ofMontana, more than 18,000 good-paying jobs will be created and sustained because of thislegislation. Thousands of jobs and new opportunities will come to communities strugglingeconomically. American businesses can move goods and services safely and more efficientlykeeping our economy competitive.”

As ranking member of the Finance Committee, Baucus’ leadership was crucial in draftingthe tax provisions in the bill. The Senate Finance Committee is responsible for raising revenueto fund the transportation program.

“The tax provisions within the legislation provide incentives for new fuel technologies,”Baucus said. “We have put tax credits in the bill reward those who use cleaner burningalternative fuels. This will provide an incentive for people to use alternative energy sources,lessening our dependence on foreign oil while raising revenue for highways.”

The volumetric excise tax credit for alternative fuels will expand the ethanol excise taxcredit to include other alternative fuels that take the place of conventional petroleum products.Some of the alternative fuels include natural gas, diesel from coal, and other fuels derived frombiomass.

Baucus noted the tax title has new measures to crack down on fuel fraud that will raisemillions in additional highway revenue. The bill also reforms a number of highway excise taxes,alcoholic beverage taxes, and sport excise taxes will make the tax code less complicated andprovide tax relief to small businesses.

“Today’s agreement represents a victory for all those who have been working on thisbill,” Baucus said. “This agreement will pump billions of dollars into our nation’s roads andeconomy. By working together we strengthened the nation’s transportation systems and willprovide millions of good-paying jobs across the nation.”