Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 13, 2015

Senate Democrats Call for Quick Action on Highway Patch

Whitehouse says it would be politically detrimental for Republicans if the highway program should cease. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Whitehouse says it would be politically detrimental for Republicans if the highway program should cease. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A trio of Democratic senators called for quick action this month on agreeing to keep funds flowing to transportation projects through the end of the year as bipartisan, bicameral negotiations continue on finding a way to pay for the patch.

“We have to. It is a necessity for the economy of this country, for our infrastructure and for everything else, to come to an agreement before the trust fund runs out,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer, the No. 3 Senate Democrat, said on a conference call.

“Our purpose today is to urge both sides to come together, to put down any partisan objection, to come to a compromise and get this done in the short term and then we can try to work on a longer term plan later,” the New York Democrat said. “To let the [highway] trust fund run out at time when we need jobs, we need the economy going, would be a disgrace.”

Congress has to come up with about $10 billion to plug the shortfall needed to fund transportation projects through the end of the year, given that the highway trust fund — the collection of gas tax receipts doled out to states to pay for surface transportation projects — is expected to run out of money this month.

And funding for transportation programs would shrink after Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. A short-term fix would give Congress a chance to work out a multi-year transportation authorization with a new funding mechanism or a bill that doesn’t provide as much aid.

Schumer and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., who was also on the call, said it would be politically detrimental for Republicans if the highway program should cease. They added that only a small minority of conservatives, mostly in the House, who want to devolve the program back to the states.

“We are hoping that our Republican colleagues who understand that the federal government has to play an important role in highways and who actually understand that a highway shutdown would have a similar effect on their party as a government shutdown, resist their calls to close it,” Schumer said.

There are about 700,000 constructions jobs that would be affected if Congress fails to act.

The conference call — which also included Sen. Mark Warner and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, of transportation advocates Building America’s Future — comes as Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., held talks on a short-term patch over the Independence Day recess.

Schumer said he’s been in touch with Wyden and that he and Camp have had “have had good conversations. I think there is real desire on both sides not to let the trust fund run out.”

“What you have to do is find things that can fill the gap…that can pay for that that both side can accept,” Schumer said. “One side might say ‘do it all with revenues,’ one side might say ‘do it all with spending cuts.’ Obviously there has got to be a compromise. … Signs are looking good that we can come to that compromise.”

Schumer said he believes that once an agreement is reached between chambers and parties that Congress could move quickly to approve it.

Asked if using offsets for transportation that some Democrats have pushed to be used for an unemployment extension was under consideration, Schumer said, “I think we are looking at everything.”

But he stressed that no decision had been made yet on the offset.

“As to what specific proposal would meet both side’s OK … we are not there yet, but there is an agreement that we should try to get this done before Aug. 1,” Schumer said.

An unemployment extension remains a priority for Democrats and offsets have been used in a pending Senate bill in order to win Republican support. But it’s unclear the bill will be considered any time soon after the Senate passed a similar bill in April. The Republican-run House ignored the measure, saying it doesn’t help create jobs.

Comments (56)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. Wayne Heddinger

    July 8, 2014
    10:42 a.m.

    One mode of thinking is that EUC without retroactive payment
    is better than no EUC at all. Some, however, are not satisfied. According to the
    National Employment Law Project, it is apparently politically impossible to
    include fully retroactive provisions in the design of an unemployment benefit
    extension plan and this exclusion is tragic. Without retroactive payments, many
    will be left at the bottom of a mountain of debt that is virtually impossible
    to climb and this will have long term impacts that include reduced tax revenue
    for the government.

    Today we (the long term unemployed) have started a campaign
    to contact every Senate and House member to persuade them to vote NO on your
    new unemployment bill unless it includes retro pay. Otherwise it is a useless bill.



    VOTE NO !

    Call LeBionno – 202-225-6572

    Call Kildee – 202-225-3611

    Call Reid – 202-224-3542

    Call Heller – 202-224-6244

    Call Reed – 202-224-4642

    Call Levin – 888-810-3880

    Call Pelosi – 202-225-4965

    Call The White House – 202-456-1111

    • Thomas Viveiros

      July 8, 2014
      6:25 p.m.

      Nice advertisement for all you DemocRATs . I thought Hussein OwebaMaonomics 101 was working so well . Why do you need “extended unemployment benefits” when the stock markets are sky rocketing and the fake unemployment figures keep going lower lol . Let me give you a clue . Micky D’s , BK and KFC are hiring .

      • Wayne Heddinger

        July 8, 2014
        6:53 p.m.

        because none of those so called job creators that republicans keep giving away tax cuts to are actually creating jobs !…the unemployment figures do not count those people who run out of unemployment benefits…those people no longer can file so they no longer get counted…the real unemployment number is close to 10 million….so please get a clue !

        • Thomas Viveiros

          July 8, 2014
          7:13 p.m.

          I see you are on your very calloused knees for your no good lazyboy smelly muzzie master Hussein OwebaMao so if there is one who’s suffering I’m overjoyed for you. On Big Bully Bush’s tax cuts . Once enacted the IRS immediately reported huge increases in tax intake of tax return amounts breaking all time records year after year . How come Your muzzie Master didn’t revoke the Bush tax cuts when they had a chance ? After 5.5 years in office when does your no good lazyboy smelly muzzie master take responsibility for this great economic recovery you DemocRATs keep spewing about ? lol .

          • Wayne Heddinger

            July 8, 2014
            8:18 p.m.

            go away right wing tool !

  2. Thomas Viveiros

    July 8, 2014
    6:27 p.m.

    if Sheldon Outhouse D/Dummy from Rhode / Rouges Island is a part of this fraud then expect this to have a lot of fraud included in the bill . This is how road/bridge work is done in the state with the worse roads and bridges nationwide operates ,

  3. Bo Tye

    July 11, 2014
    2:16 a.m.

    Sympathy for altruism should not impel us to accept collectivist demands that we cast aside morality and liberty to chase their illusions.

  4. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    5:40 a.m.

    My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was totally right. This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  5. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    11:04 a.m.

    I?¦ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this web site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  6. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    7:27 a.m.

    What i don’t realize is in reality how you’re now not actually a lot more neatly-preferred than you might be now. You’re very intelligent. You already know therefore significantly in terms of this matter, produced me in my opinion consider it from a lot of varied angles. Its like women and men aren’t interested until it¦s one thing to accomplish with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs great. At all times care for it up!

  7. Anonymous

    July 8, 2015
    12:24 a.m.

    I do agree with all of the ideas you have presented in your post. They’re very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are very short for starters. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

  8. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    1:02 p.m.

    I have not checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

  9. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    4:32 a.m.

    Thanks for helping out, good information.

  10. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    4:10 a.m.

    Hello there, simply became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I’m going to be careful for brussels. I will be grateful in the event you continue this in future. Many other people can be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

  11. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    11:58 a.m.

    Real excellent visual appeal on this web site, I’d value it 10 10.

  12. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    8:38 p.m.

    This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

  13. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    2:11 p.m.

    Hi , I do believe this is an excellent blog. I stumbled upon it on Yahoo , i will come back once again. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and help other people.

  14. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    8:30 p.m.

    Valuable info. Lucky me I found your web site by accident, and I’m shocked why this accident didn’t happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

  15. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    8:32 a.m.

    Throughout the great design of things you’ll get an A for effort. Exactly where you misplaced everybody was on your particulars. You know, as the maxim goes, details make or break the argument.. And that couldn’t be more true here. Having said that, allow me tell you what exactly did deliver the results. The authoring is really convincing and this is probably the reason why I am taking an effort to opine. I do not really make it a regular habit of doing that. Next, despite the fact that I can certainly see the leaps in reason you come up with, I am not necessarily certain of exactly how you appear to unite your points which inturn make the conclusion. For right now I will yield to your issue but wish in the future you connect the facts much better.

  16. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    8:51 a.m.

    Everything is very open and very clear explanation of issues. was truly information. Your website is very useful. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    5:51 p.m.

    Hi my friend! I wish to say that this post is amazing, nice written and include approximately all vital infos. I would like to see more posts like this .

  18. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    4:43 a.m.

    Simply a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw great design.

  19. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    12:53 p.m.

    Hi! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  20. Anonymous

    Aug. 17, 2015
    9:17 p.m.

    Howdy! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any points or suggestions? Cheers

  21. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    10:21 a.m.

    F*ckin’ remarkable things here. I am very glad to see your post. Thanks a lot and i’m looking forward to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a mail?

  22. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    5:30 a.m.

    Thanks for another informative blog. Where else could I get that kind of information written in such a perfect way? I have a project that I am just now working on, and I’ve been on the look out for such information.

  23. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    6:56 a.m.

    Really Appreciate this update, is there any way I can receive an update sent in an email when you write a new article?

  24. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    3:49 p.m.

    Very interesting points you have noted, thanks for putting up.

  25. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    9:47 p.m.

    Good blog! I really love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your RSS which must do the trick! Have a great day!

  26. Anonymous

    Aug. 26, 2015
    3:33 a.m.

    As a Newbie, I am permanently browsing online for articles that can benefit me. Thank you

  27. Anonymous

    Aug. 29, 2015
    5:29 p.m.

    I’m still learning from you, but I’m making my way to the top as well. I definitely love reading everything that is posted on your website.Keep the aarticles coming. I liked it!

  28. Anonymous

    Aug. 29, 2015
    6:44 p.m.

    Great post. I am facing a couple of these problems.

  29. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    5:07 p.m.

    My husband and i were very fulfilled Raymond managed to finish off his investigations through the entire ideas he obtained using your web page. It’s not at all simplistic to simply choose to be handing out techniques which many others may have been trying to sell. And we all remember we have got the writer to give thanks to because of that. The most important explanations you have made, the easy website menu, the relationships you will assist to engender – it is mostly sensational, and it is leading our son and the family know that that idea is pleasurable, and that is truly indispensable. Many thanks for everything!

  30. Anonymous

    Sept. 8, 2015
    6:45 a.m.

    Perfectly composed content, Really enjoyed reading through.

  31. Anonymous

    Sept. 13, 2015
    3:32 a.m.

    Great article and right to the point. I am not sure if this is truly the best place to ask but do you folks have any ideea where to employ some professional writers? Thx :)

  32. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    5:11 a.m.

    I have been reading out some of your stories and i can claim pretty good stuff. I will make sure to bookmark your site.

  33. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    9:49 a.m.

    This design is incredible! You most certainly know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  34. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    10:47 a.m.

    Just wish to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your post is simply great and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

  35. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    8:15 p.m.

    you’re really a good webmaster. The web site loading speed is amazing. It seems that you’re doing any unique trick. Also, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a excellent job on this topic!

  36. primerica life insurance duluth ga

    Sept. 19, 2015
    6:07 p.m.

    Whats amazing note here. It would be great to use your info for future posts or comments.

  37. federated insurance owatonna

    Sept. 19, 2015
    7:06 p.m.

    Make sure you described this totally, because I wish to get more details.

  38. federated insurance florida

    Sept. 19, 2015
    7:09 p.m.

    Thanks for detailed review.. Waiting for future notes

  39. hanover insurance quote

    Sept. 19, 2015
    7:57 p.m.

    Whats amazing note here. It would be great to use your info for future posts or comments.

  40. esurance ratings

    Sept. 20, 2015
    6:55 a.m.

    Thanks for great info, I will you use it for my review!

  41. insurance mutual

    Sept. 22, 2015
    3:12 a.m.

    Get quotes for auto and home policy. Save with us up to 40%

  42. amica ins

    Sept. 22, 2015
    2:09 p.m.

    Combine & compare to save more on quotes. Get cheapest insurance here

  43. amax insurance dallas tx

    Sept. 22, 2015
    7:04 p.m.

    Get auto and home insurance policies

  44. Anonymous

    Sept. 23, 2015
    4:04 a.m.

    Its wonderful as your other content : D, thanks for posting.

  45. federated

    Sept. 23, 2015
    5:06 a.m.

    Best quotes in the USA on auto and home insurance. Get quotes by zip code and save on policy!

  46. Anonymous

    Sept. 23, 2015
    9:38 p.m.

    I really appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thx again!

  47. commercial auto policy

    Sept. 29, 2015
    5:25 p.m.

    Choose our best quotes from mutual home and auto insurance companies. Save on policies!

  48. acuity insurance co

    Oct. 1, 2015
    3:38 p.m.

    Try discounts up to 40% on auto or home insurance.

  49. omega home insurance quotes

    Oct. 7, 2015
    9:31 a.m.

    Free quotes online by zip code! Get cheap rate on auto policy, save up to 520 dollars per year.

  50. omega insurance agency

    Oct. 7, 2015
    9:46 a.m.

    Get free quotes on car insurance by zip code over the USA!

  51. Anonymous

    Oct. 11, 2015
    7:02 p.m.

    Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he just bought me lunch as I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...