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MRAA supports Highway Bill
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Congress is attempting to pass a massive, $250 billion 5-year, transportation bill, which has been referred to as the Highway Bill. The House version, H.R. 7 contains re-authorization language for the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund with only minor changes to two of the Coast Guard administrative accounts from the current law. The bill would also open up funds in the Harbor Maintenance Fund for dredging.

The Senate Highway Bill, S. 1813, contains a two-year re-authorization of Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund language. This bill represents approximately $100 billion less than the House bill and is more contentious.

The problem lies in trying to put the two bills together in the conference committee. In the past the Highway Bill has been a popular bill with strong support from Members of both parties, but this year the general partisan problems in the Congress greatly reduces the chance for ultimate passage.

Congress passed in the last week of March a three month continuing resolution (CR) authorizing the funding for the Highway Bill. If Congress doesn’t pass the Highway Bill this year, the process will have to start over with the 113th Congress convenes in 2013. In the meantime the Sport Fish account and highway projects are being funded for a few months at a time making it very hard to enter into long term project contracts.

Read more:
Senate, House extend transportation funding
The Hill: House sidesteps Highway Bill