March 19, 2019 – The details of the President’s budget proposal for fiscal 2020 make it clear that, if the Trump Administration has a plan for long-term fiscal solvency of the Highway Trust Fund, they aren’t presenting it in this budget
Eno Transportation Weekly
January 25, 2019 – The Congressional Budget Office will release its annual Budget and Economic Outlook on Monday, January 28. This will be accompanied by CBO’s preliminary spending and revenue baseline for the fiscal year 2020-2029 period, the release of which should include an updated forecast of Highway Trust Fund cash flow for the coming decade.
August 24, 2016 – A new GAO report says that vendors of jet fuel for general aviation have contributed up to $2 billion to the Highway Trust Fund over the last decade.
May 26, 2016 – Could efforts to reform the budget process also bring more discipline to transportation trust fund programs?
March 30, 2016 – Last week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office issued its official budget baseline to be used in the fiscal year 2017 budget process.
March 23, 2016 – Recent projections published by the Treasury Department indicate that the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund will run out of money almost a year before the expiration of the FAST Act in September 2020.
January 28, 2016 – The new budget forecast from the Congressional Budget Office projects that receipts from the 18.3 cent-per-gallon federal gasoline tax dedicated to the Highway Trust Fund will continue to decline at an ever-accelerating rate.
January 28, 2016 – The new Congressional Budget Office spending and revenue baseline projects that the Highway Trust Fund will remain solvent until the end of the FAST Act on September 30, 2020, ending that fiscal year with about $16 billion in balances. However, the HTF is projected to run out of money midway through FY 2021, and CBO projects that an additional $113 billion in additional transfers would be necessary to fund a six-year surface transportation bill at inflation-adjusted baseline levels after the expiration of the FAST Act ($76 billion to get the Highway Account of the HTF to zero at the end of 2026, $32 billion to do the same for the Mass Transit Account, and an additional $5 billion cash cushion a.k.a. prudent minimum balance).
December 2, 2015 – Congress still appears on track for final action on the long-awaited surface transportation reauthorization bill (H.R.
November 30, 2015 – Congressional staff worked through Thanksgiving week (and its bookended weekends) in hopes of finalizing a conference agreement on the surface transportation reauthorization bill (H.R. 22) by tonight. The transportation-related portions of the agreement appear to be finalized.
Congressional staff worked through the weekend trying to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of H.R. 22, the DRIVE Act. It now appears that, contra to Senate Environment and Public Works chairman Jim Inhofe’s (R-OK) public prediction on November 19 that the senior conferees would be making a “big announcement” on the 20th giving a very broad outline of a deal on a surface transportation bill, no such public announcement on the legislation will likely be forthcoming until Congress returns next week (though the staff will keep working).
November 20, 2015 – House and Senate leaders were tantalizingly close to announcing the broad strokes of a framework for a conference agreement on the surface transportation bill (H.R. 22) today, but since, in conference, nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to, disputes over parts of the bill in one committee’s purview have bled over into parts of the bill under other committee jurisdiction.
November 18, 2015 – Transportation funding legislation will take big steps forward in two different venues today, as the joint House-Senate conference committee on the surface transportation reauthorization bill (H.R. 22) holds its first (and likely only) public meeting today at 10 a.m.
November 16, 2015 – What appears to be a busy news week on the transportation front actually started last Friday evening. Just after 6 p.m. last Friday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made public what ETW has been saying for some time – that another short-term extension of Highway Trust Fund programs past November 20 will be necessary.
October 29, 2015 – Both Houses of Congress cleared legislation this week that will extend expiring Highway Trust Fund spending authority for three more weeks (through November 20, 2015), which the President is expected to sign tomorrow. Section 1302 of that legislation also extends the deadline for railroads to reach full installation of positive train control (PTC) technology by three years (from 12/31/2015 to 12/31/2018), with individual railroads eligible for up to two one-year extensions after 2018 at the discretion of the Secretary of Transportation.
Congressional clearance of the three-week extension comes as the House Rules Committee has announced plans for structuring the debate on the DRIVE Act when that surface transportation legislation is brought to the House floor next week.
October 28, 2015 – The U.S. Senate has approved H.R. 3819, the three-week Highway Trust Fund extension through November 20 which also carries a three-year extension of the positive train control (PTC) implementation deadline, by voice vote, clearing the measure for President Obama’s signature.
October 23, 2015 – There was much discussion in the House Transportation and Infrastructure markup of the House’s Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act about how the six-year nature of the bill was a welcome change from prior Congressional practice.
But is that really the case?
October 22, 2015 – The Treasury Department has released the unaudited year-end Highway Trust Fund tax receipt totals for the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2015.
October 19, 2015 – The House moves its surface transportation bill through committee this week, and DOT released the National Freight Strategic Plan on Sunday.
October 16, 2015 – The next Highway Trust Fund short-term extension could be packaged with a short-term increase in the limit on the public debt and/or a bill extending the December 31, 2015 positive train control implementation deadline.