Congress is, however, now just days away from the latest expiration of U.S. highway funds, and both chambers of Congress must come to an agreement on how to proceed: The Senate’s long-term measure, if passed, or the House’s short-term measure, already passed by the House and sent to the Senate for approval.
Following a few days of back and forth jabs between lawmakers in the Senate over potential amendments to the already 1,000-page long bill, Senate leaders say they’re ready to make another push at getting the legislation passed and sent to the House before Congress’ month-long August recess.
However, House leaders have made no qualms about what they intend to do with the bill if they receive it this week: Nothing, for now.
The House passed earlier this month a short-term patch that funds roads and bridges through the middle of December, and leaders Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) say the lower chamber has concluded its work on highway funding bills until after the August recess, setting up a potential showdown between Republican leaders in the two chambers.
If the Senate can pass its highway bill early this week — and if lawmakers in the House stick to their word — the Senate may have to also take up the House’s short-term patch before Friday, as to prevent highway funding from running dry during Congress’ recess.