The faltering Highway Trust Fund has won a reprieve, with final congressional approval July 30 of a $7-billion infusion from the general fund. It is the second bailout for the fund in less than a year. But the relief only will keep the trust fund’s highway account solvent through Sept. 30 or perhaps a little beyond. After lawmakers return from their August break, they quickly must find still more money to shore up the fund past that date.
The short-term fix “will at least get us through the August recess and make sure that contractors and states are receiving reimbursements in a timely manner from the federal government,” says American Highway Users Alliance President Greg Cohen. But, he adds, “We need a major fix [so] Congress will not continue to bail out the trust fund incrementally every few months.”