Just when you thought Congress was taking infrastructure repair and growth seriously, the Senate Appropriations Committee for fiscal 2017 could strip away $2.2 billion in old contract authority. There is already a $7.9 billion in rescissions scheduled to hit in 2020.
When Congress returns to work on Sept. 6 after a long summer recess, lawmakers face a decision on whether to maintain support for highway program funding levels they set just last year in the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, or whether they will act to weaken those investments.
Congress will be working on a fast-paced schedule next month to act on must-pass legislation including some form of a budget measure before Sept. 30 to prevent a shutdown of government agencies starting Oct. 1. In effect, that would mean taking some contract authority away this year after approving modest increases in highway project investments through the FAST Act last December.
The presidential candidates know that talking up infrastructure repair and growth is the fastest and most broad reaching economic stimulus they can promise voters who are concerned about jobs and economic stability.
However, will Congress support promised infrastructure funding for the country before the November elections? Or will they cut funding so they can tell constituents how carefully they are spending tax dollars.(Insert individual incumbent re-election rhetoric here.)
Here are two articles from AASHTO that will give you solid details on what effect Congress may have on our roads before the election.
You'll be smarter for reading them.