The House of Representatives has passed a bill that aims toÂ provide a temporary fix for the federal highway and transit system. The bill isÂ a multi billion dollar patch for a deeply flawed and financially unstableÂ system.
The bill passed by a 367 to 55 vote margin, which displays aÂ rare moment of bipartisan cooperation in the House. A similar bill is waitingÂ to be brought to a vote in the Senate, although it will certainly face muchÂ stronger opposition there.
âThe bill cobbles together $10.8 billion by using pensionÂ tax changes, custom fees and money from a fund to repair leaking undergroundÂ fuel storage tanks to keep the federal Highway Trust Fund, which pays forÂ transportation programs nationwide, solvent through May 2015,â reports the Washington Examiner.
Without this bill being passed, the Highway Trust Fund will run out of money by the first week of August.
Hundreds of thousands of jobs would also be put in jeopardyÂ without congressional action. The issue is so important that it blurs the lines betweenÂ Republicans and Democrats.
Yesterday, the White House endorsed the GOP bill regardingÂ the highway fund.
âThe legislation would provide for continuity of funding forÂ the Highway Trust Fund during the height of the summer construction season andÂ keep Americans at work repairing the nationâs crumbling roads, bridges, andÂ transit systems,â said the White House in a statement on Monday.
This approval of the GOP bill came with the demand thatÂ congress passes a long-term solution in the near future.
âThis legislation only provides a short-term fix to theÂ Highway Trust Fund. It does not address the continued need to pass a long-termÂ authorization bill that creates jobs and provides certainty for cities, statesÂ and businesses,â continued the statement from the White House.
The White House sees the GOP sponsored bill that just passedÂ the House as an acceptable stopgap piece of legislation. Perhaps the bipartisanÂ support it received, in the House in conjunction with Obamaâs approval of theÂ measure, will soften opposition in the Senate.
Republicans assert that the president should continueÂ putting pressure on his own party in order to help push through the bill in theÂ Senate, and only then will it be time to begin the process of drafting a moreÂ comprehensive fix for the Highway Trust Fundâs massive monetary issues.