House and Senate negotiators today reached a bicameral, bipartisan compromise on a conference agreement for the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act”—a bill to extend authorization for spending from the Highway Trust Fund and other related funds through September 30, 2020. The conference agreement includes tax and spending changes to offset the expected $300+ billion cost of the legislation.
The conference agreement [PDF 2.76 MB] would extend through September 30, 2022, a variety of highway-related taxes such as the taxes imposed upon gasoline, diesel fuel and kerosene, and certain tires. It also would extend the heavy vehicle use tax through September 30, 2023. It also contains a number of tax enforcement provisions very similar to those included in various versions of highway spending bills passed by the House and Senate earlier this year.
Provisions in the conference agreement include:
The conference agreement reflects a compromise between previously passed House and Senate versions of a highway funding bill. Before becoming law, the agreement would need to be approved by both the House and Senate and signed into law by President Obama.
The current spending authorization for the affected highway and related trust funds expires this Friday, December 4, 2015. It is possible that Congress may pass a very short-term extension of spending authorization in order to allow an additional few days to vote on the conference agreement.
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