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1978 Conable-Gibbons Amendment to the Highway Bill

This PDF is a series of documents relating to a proposed amendment in the House Ways and Means Committee to the revenue title of the highway bill in 1978. Drafted (at the Department of Transportation’s request) by Reps. Barber Conable (R-NY) and Sam Gibbons (D-FL), the amendment would have put the Highway Trust Fund on a form of “accrual accounting” and ensured that each year’s new funding authorizations were reduced to that upcoming year’s estimated excise tax revenues.

The file includes:

  • The undated original text of the Conable-Gibbons amendment from spring 1978.
  • Projected Highway Trust Fund cash flow under the highway bill (H.R. 11733) as reported by the House Public Works and Transportation Committee.
  • A May 16, 1978 version of the Conable-Gibbons amendment, with Ways and Means staff analysis.
  • A May 17, 1978 letter from Transportation Secretary Adams, Treasury Secretary Blumenthal, and OMB Director McIntyre to Ways and Means chairman Ullman supporting Conable-Gibbons.
  • A May 19, 1978 letter from Public Works and Transportation chairman Johnson and ranking minority member Harsha opposing Conable-Gibbons.
  • The May 31, 1978 final version of the Conable-Gibbons amendment, with Ways and Means staff analysis.
  • A May 31, 1978 letter from Public Works chairman Johnson to Ways and Means chairman Ullman again opposing Conable-Gibbons.
  • A June 22, 1978 letter from Johnson, Harsha, Highways Subcommittee chairman Howard and ranking minority member Shuster to Ullman opposing Conable-Gibbons and including several pages of arguments against the amendment.
  • A July 12, 178 letter from Howard to Ullman explaining how he was going to offer an amendment reducing funding in H.R. 11733 and providing Public Works staff re-estimates of future Trust Fund cash flow under the amended bill.
  • Congressional Budget Office projected Trust Fund cash flow under Howard’s amendment.
  • Congressional Budget Office projected Trust Fund cash flow under the Conable-Gibbons amendment.
  • A July 31, 1978 letter from OMB Director McIntyre to Gibbons reiterating support for the Conable-Gibbons amendment.

Readers are encouraged to download the file and open it in a PDF reader so they can use the bookmark tab to move between documents.

Reproduced from the files of the Committee on Ways and Means and the Committee on Public Works and Transportation at the National Archives.

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