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Media Advisory
For Immediate Release:
9/23/2009 12:00 AM
Richard Thomas
Vice President, Advocacy
Transportation Bill Extends Funding for Three Months

​Passed by a wide margin, the bill moves on to the Senate.

Washington, DC, September 23, 2009. Today, the House of Representatives moved quickly to pass HR 3617, a three-month extension of the federal highway, public transportation and safety programs. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar used a parliamentary procedure that prevented any floor amendments, but required a two-thirds majority to bring the bill to the floor. The bill passed by an overwhelming margin 335-85.

Chairman Oberstar had to overcome opposition from House Republican leadership. Republican leaders urged opposition to the bill on the ground that the legislation did not repeal of the $8.7 billion contract authority rescission and that the short- term extension was not in line with the 18-month extension that both the President and the Senate are calling for.

Republican leaders objected to not being given an opportunity to offer amendments and said that Democrats wanted a 3-month extension so they could buy time to build support for a gas tax increase. Republicans had hoped to pass an amendment to the bill barring a future gas tax increase.

Increasing transportation funding has broad support not only inside the transportation community but also from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and coalition of business groups.

The extension bill had broad bipartisan support, House Democrats uniformly supported the bill and a majority of the Republicans bucked their leadership to join Democrats in passing it. The bill now moves to the Senate.
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