The heated debate surrounding the soon to be depleted US Highway Trust Fund has been postponed until next year by the Congress lawmakers, as both parties joined forces on a plan to support it until May 2015.
The debate over the best way to secure the funds to boost the trust – which has been relying on a fuel tax to gather the necessary cash for road and mass-transit projects – has been relegated to next year, as the Democrat and Republican parties failed to agree on a common bill that would resolve the issue of long-term support.
“We’ve reached an agreement that can work for both Republicans and Democrats which, given the state of the Senate these days, is quite an accomplishment,” said Senator Orrin Hatch.
“We’re not going to get a long-term highway bill here over the next couple of months,” added House Speaker John Boehner.
Bills that were green lit by the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees have secured finances of around $11 billion – as the trust would have been unable to pay its ongoing projects starting next month. With minor differences, both laws would gather cash for the trust by increasing customs fees and by allowing companies to defer certain payments to their employee pensions.