US Construction House approves $275bn highway spending bill

US Construction House approves $275bn highway spending bill
Published: 09 April 2004

Last Friday the House of Representatives voted 357-65 in favour of a $275bn highway and transit bill. The spending bill will now be sent to a House-Senate conference, where negotiations will be carried out to resolve differences between this bill and the Senates proposal of a $318bn spending program. Then, attention will turn to reaching agreement with the US administration, which so far has proposed a spending bill of $256bn. While it is still unclear what size the final bill will be, all the indicators are pointing in the right direction. This latest proposal would be a 26% increase on the previous spending program, TEA 21. Even the most conservative proposal from the Bush administration represents a 17% increase on TEA 21. The House of Representatives had previously proposed a $375bn spending bill, but this would have required raising taxes and was never seen as a likely outcome. TEA 21 expired last September and since then has been given two short-term extensions, the second of which runs out at the end of April.