House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.) has recommended a $3-billion infusion for the struggling Highway Trust Fund, a sum that Oberstar says will be enough to carry the trust fund through Sept. 30. Oberstar, who made his proposal July 23 during a House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing, said that the boost for the trust fund should come through a transfer from the general fund.
The trust fund's highway account is projected to start running a shortfall in August. Oberstar's proposal for fixing that immediate problem is at odds with the plan now shaping up in the Senate. Those differences over the shape of a trust-fund "fix" are intertwined with varying views about how to reauthorize the overall federal highway and transit programs before the end of September.