The House of Representatives delayed a vote on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed by the Senate on August 10 twice last week while discussions continued over legislative and funding priorities involving the much larger reconciliation bill covering social programs. However, late on October 1, the House passed a 30-day surface transportation funding extension measure, which expires October 31, to provide more time for legislators to find a way around the infrastructure bill impasse. The Senate subsequently passed that extension on October 2, with President Biden signing it into law that same day. The legislation reauthorizes funding for highway and transit construction programs that lapsed the day before in an effort to avert thousands of worker furloughs and interrupted projects.
The infrastructure bill or IIJA also includes surface reauthorization legislation, without which funding for many critical federal transportation programs is suspended. That underscores the importance of the 30-day extension so that funding does not completely lapse as legislators continue to wrangle over the bill.
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