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CBO releases highway bill estimates

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Cement,

On 17 November, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its estimates of the costs of the House surface transportation reauthorisation facilitating a serious discussion by the conferees of the funding levels of the final bill.

The House accepted the Senate DRIVE Act pay fors totalling US$47 billion and funding three years of the six year authorisation.However, the House eliminated the US$17 billion senate pay for that deleted dividends paid by the Federal Reserve to member banks. Instead, an amendment was substituted that, going forward, would require transfer of the Federal Reserve surplus account to the General Find to offset the highway bill costs.

Initial estimates were borne out by the CBO estimates. The CBO claim that the House passed bill can support US$78 billion in increased deposits in the Highway Trust Fund, and that money with extension of the current motor fuel user fee will fully support spending levels in the bill, leaving a US$6 billion balance in 2021.

The House pay fors will support a five-year bill as forecasted by Senate EPW Chairman Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., last week. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, confirmed to NSSGA last night that the plan was to use the whole of the Federal Reserve surplus to offset the costs of the highway bill.

Adapted from press release by   Source: NSSGA

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