Senate panel approves $284B highway bill

March 16, 2005 at 5:47 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, March 16 (UPI) -- A Senate panel approved a $284 billion highway construction and transportation funding bill Wednesday, setting up a floor fight to increase the funding level.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's approval of the six-year surface transportation measure follows House approval of its version of its competing version last week.

Lawmakers failed to come to terms last year with the White House for a funding level on the highway bill that Congress had hoped to fund at a higher level that the Bush administration has supported.

Republicans and Democrats on the panel, including Chairman James Inhofe, R-Okla., indicated they would work to increase the funding level on the Senate floor beyond the White House's $284 billion threshold.

Beyond the potential funding difference, a particularly contentious provision in the House measure remains unresolved: how much money states should get back in federal gasoline taxes that fund the measure.

A provision to the measure during House floor debate guarantees around $11 billion in projects wanted by individual members in an effort to squelch dissent over the issue.

House members from so-called donor-states, such as California and Texas -- which get back less money than they pay in federal gas taxes -- have been pushing for an increase in the current 90.5% return rate.

Topics: James Inhofe
© 2005 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended Stories
Most Popular
Bill Clinton claims he could have killed Osama Bin Laden
Bachmann: Obama wants to use child immigrants for medical experiments
Army receives first advanced CH-47F helicopter variant
Utah man teaches 'homophones', fired for promoting gay agenda
One cop issued 80 percent of the marijuana tickets in Seattle this year
Trending News