Rep. Bill Shuster: Expect Highway Funding Plan ‘In the Coming Days’

Pete Marovich/Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON — A plan to ensure federal dollars for highway programs continue to reach states after a May 31 deadline could be unveiled “in the coming days,” Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), the top transportation policy writer in the House, told reporters April 14.

“Whichever is the one that gets me the money to do a long-term bill is the one I favor,” Shusted added, when asked which proposal from House colleagues back a highway account he would support.

Shuster would not say exactly what type of highway plan House colleagues would be considering prior to the May deadline, but he indicated that a long-term plan might be included as part of a broad tax overhaul package.

“I believe there is bipartisan support to do some form of tax reform; not as big as [former Ways and Means Chairman[ Dave Camp’s. Not as big as [current Ways and Means Chairman] Paul [Ryan] would like to do, but there’s some bipartisan support for a number of different issues,” Shuster told Transport Topics after delivering a keynote address at the Transportation Construction Coalition’s annual legislative conference.  

Since a tax reform measure would be a monumental feat that would take longer than several weeks to advance through the GOP-led control chambers, there’s a growing expectation lawmakers will begin consideration of a short-term funding fix.

Approving a short-term fix is not ideal for states that are crafting long-term construction projects, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told the group after Shuster. The Obama administration has come out with a six-year, $478 billion “Grow America” transportation plan. However, GOP leaders are unlikely to approve that plan.