By David Lawder, July 15, 2015
The U.S. House of
Representatives passed a five-month transportation funding extension on
Wednesday aimed at avoiding an Aug. 1 road construction slowdown but
that does nothing to revive the idled U.S. Export-Import Bank.
Republicans passed the measure less than 48 hours after its
introduction in a move that conservatives in the party said would give
them an advantage over Ex-Im backers in the Senate, who aim to use their
version of the bill as a vehicle to renew the trade bank's charter,
which expired on June 30.
by a 312-119 bipartisan vote, the House bill would authorize federal
spending on highway and rail transit projects through Dec. 18 and inject
about $8.1 billion into the rapidly dwindling Highway Trust Fund.
would be paid for by extending higher airport security fees levied on
airline tickets for two more years, to 2026, and with revenue from tax
changes aimed at improving compliance and collections.
Republicans and Democrats both said they would rather pass a six-year
transportation bill, they have been unable to agree on where to find the
hundreds of billions of dollars needed to fund it.
Republicans are eyeing revenue captured from repatriating some $2
trillion in U.S. corporate profits held overseas, but say that must be
part of a broader international corporate tax reform plan that needs
more time to develop.
want to do a multi-year highway bill," House Ways and Means Committee
Chairman Paul Ryan said on the House floor. "We know we’re not going to
write that bill in the next two weeks. We know we need at least two or
Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee was set to
consider its own transportation funding plan later on Wednesday.
Democrats and moderate Republicans aim to try to attach a renewal of
the Ex-Im Bank's charter to a Senate transportation bill, and
conservative Republicans vowed on Wednesday to try to stop them.
Ted Cruz, a Republican presidential candidate, urged Senate Majority
Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner to block an Ex-Im
amendment, which would show they are "more than campaign conservatives."
willing to use any and all procedural tools to stop this corporate
welfare, this corruption, from being propagated," Cruz told reporters.
But in a test vote last month, 65 senators voiced support for Ex-Im, enough to overcome procedural hurdles in the Senate.