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House, Senate to Move on Short-Term Highway Bill

July 29, 2015, by Deborah Lockridge - Also by this author

It looks like Congress is going to kick the can down the road again when it comes to highway funding after what looked like a game of "chicken" in recent days.

The House had already passed a five-month extension, while the Senate was still trying to get its six-year plan (which actually only paid for three years) voted on before the current extension runs out Friday. House leadership had said it would not even take up the Senate bill, and the Senate bill's authors criticized House leadership for refusing to delay their August recess to work on the bill.

Now the House says it's going to send a three-month extension bill over to the Senate, and Senate leaders say they will take up the legislation, according to published reports -- in exchange for promises from the House that a larger funding fix will be worked on soon after the August recess. The House has said it will develop a multiyear highway bill of its own in early September.

"The House is going to send over to us a highway extension to October 29, which will also include some important veterans funds to deal with a shortfall in the veterans health care system," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday, reports the Huffington Post.

The Highway Trust Fund has been insolvent since 2008, limping along on transfers from the Treasury while Congress keeps kicking the can down the road.

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