Unwilling to take up the 2-year bipartisan approved legislation that recently passed in the Senate, the House GOP have pulled a 90-day extension to the current Highway Bill, in recognition that they did not have the votes to pass it.
As Zwillich observes, "The move further complicates an already murky situation between the House and Senate just days before current highway legislation expires on March 31."
In the Chicago Tribune, David Lawder and John Crawley report that House and Senate leaders continue to negotiate a path forward, but that, "If no action is taken by week's end, the government would have to stop collecting gasoline taxes and cut off the flow of money to road, bridge and mass transit projects, forcing the lay-off of tens of thousands of construction workers."
Apparently, the uncertainty over the legislation is already causing states to delay projects. "North Carolina, for instance, has slowed awards for $1.2 billion in projects that would employ some 41,000 people, according to an analysis by state officials provided to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials."