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Urgent Action Needed: Support Rockefeller Bill to fix the Highway Trust Fund


​The U.S. Senate is now debating a bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (H.R. 2881). The bill includes an amendment to the tax title of the legislation offered by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) that affects transit and highway investment. The amendment includes a provision to add funding to avert an anticipated funding shortfall in the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund. This proposal would prevent the anticipated insolvency of the Highway Account in Fiscal Year 2009 by authorizing a transfer of funds from the General Fund to the Highway Trust Fund to repay $3.3 billion in emergency expenditures from the Highway Account to pay for damage from hurricanes and terrorist attacks and provides other funds without adversely effecting public transportation revenue sources. Passage of the bill with the provisions added by Senator Rockefeller and supported by the leadership of the Senate Finance Committee would avert the need to consider other ways to address the shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund, such as the proposal to borrow funds from the Mass Transit Account, which was included in the President’s budget proposal earlier this year. In addition, the Rockefeller amendment authorizes the issuance of tax credit bonds to promote new investment in high speed rail.

On Friday, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) filed an alternative version of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill that would replace the current pending legislation. The replacement bill does not include provisions unrelated to aviation, including the proposals to fix the Highway Trust Fund and provide new investment for high speed rail. Contact your Senators within the next twenty-four hours, by email, fax, or telephone, and urge them to support the original version of the bill as amended by Senator Rockefeller which provides funding for the Highway Trust Fund and promotes high-speed rail investment. Ask your Senators to oppose the substitute version that was offered by Senator Hutchison.Â

ACTION ALERT

  • Contact your Senators immediately and urge them to support the Rockefeller amendment to the tax title of the FAA reauthorization bill that strengthens the Highway Trust Fund and promotes investment in high-speed rail, and reject the substitute proposal by Senator Hutchison that does not include these provisions.

  • Explain to your Senators that the provisions contained in the Rockefeller amendment to the tax title of the FAA reauthorization bill would extend the solvency of the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund and permit full funding of highway programs in Fiscal Year 2009 without adversely impacting the Mass Transit Account and future investment in public transportation.

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