COMMITTEE on WAYS and MEANS

Chairman Dave Camp

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Sarah Swinehart (202) 226-4774

Highway Funding Bill Taps Policies with Record of Bipartisan, Bicameral Votes in House and Senate

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Washington, Jul 8 | comments

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), released a package to fund transportation projects through May 31, 2015.  The package contains three policies that have all received strong bipartisan and bicameral support in the past:

  • The two main provisions – pension smoothing ($6.4 billion) and customs user fees ($3.5 billion) – are policies the Senate has voted on this year and received over 50 Democrat votes.  Those provisions were also included in a House EUC bill, which was co-sponsored by 155 House Democrats.
  • The final piece – a transfer of gas-tax-funded monies in the Leaking Underground Storage Tanks account – was used in the last highway funding bill (MAP 21) and was included in Finance Chairman Ron Wyden’s PATH Act. (Note: the Wyden mark transferred $750 million, while the House bill transfers $1 billion.)  

In releasing the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014, H.R. 5021, which the Committee will mark up on Thursday, Camp issued the following statement:

“This is the only package with a proven history of getting big bipartisan votes in both the House and Senate.  And, while it doesn’t provide as much funding as I would like – enough to get through the end of next year – it does give Congress and the tax-writing Committees ample time to consider a more long-term solution to the Highway Trust Fund.  A funding package that would get to the end of next year would have required both sides to make much tougher decisions – something that sadly Washington does not appear capable of doing at this time.  Likewise, any effort that just goes to the end of this year will only lead to another backroom deal during the lame-duck session where only a very few Members are present or have any say in the matter.  I’ve been in that room enough, and it is time for the Committees and the entire House and Senate to have the full influence they deserve.  What troubles me most about a December 31, 2014 date are those using it as a ploy to stick the American people with a massive increase in the gas tax – just about the worst tax increase Congress could hit hardworking Americans with.  So, I am seeking the reasonable middle ground of the end of May 2015.


“I want to thank Chairman Wyden and Ranking Members Hatch and Levin for all the input their staffs have provided over the last week.  I know these policies are not perfect, but they are viable, have been used by the House and Senate before and should pass both the House and Senate quickly.  With these policies, we can steer clear of another crisis showdown, and we should.”


Bipartisan, Bicameral Support for Highway Funding Measures
Pension Smoothing
  • Included in MAP 21, the last highway funding bill, signed into law in July 2012 (P.L. 112-141)
  • Included in three proposed Senate unemployment insurance bills this year (S.2148, S.2532 and S.2149)
  • Twice received “yes” vote from over 50 Senate Democrats (an Amendment to S.1845 and Final Passage on H.R. 3979)
  • Sponsored by 155 House Democrats as part of H.R. 4415, including 13 of 16 Ways and Means Committee Democrats
Customs User Fees
 
  • Included in the House-Senate passed Ryan-Murray budget deal (H.J. Res. 59)
  • Included in three proposed Senate unemployment insurance bills this year (S.2148, S.2532 and S.2149)
  • Received “yes” vote from over 50 Senate Democrats (Final Passage on H.R. 3979)
  • Sponsored by 155 House Democrats as part of H.R. 4415, including 13 of 16 Ways and Means Committee Democrats
Leaking Underground Storage Tanks
  • Included in MAP 21, the last highway funding bill, signed into law in July 2012 (P.L. 112-141)
  • Included in Chairman Wyden’s PATH Act mark (at $750 million, as opposed to $1 billion)

 

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