AED’s McGuire cautions Congress on tough road ahead for highway funding

Following a week-long debate leading to the enactment of a six-year, $325 billion highway and transit reauthorization bill by passed by the House Thursday, Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) President & CEO Brian McGuire issued a supportive but cautionary statement.

While McGuire congratulated new Speaker of the House U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) for facilitating the strong bipartisan vote to pass the legislation, he reminded lawmakers that much work remains to be done.

“The fact remains that authorization for surface transportation programs is again set to expire in 15 days,” McGuire said on behalf of AED, an international trade association. “We urge House and Senate conferees to quickly hammer out the final details of a plan to restore stability to the highway program and institute much-needed reforms. AED and its members are standing by to help move final legislation across the goal line and to the president’s desk.”

Congress is facing a Nov. 20 deadline to complete work on a conference report and prevent a gap in highway funding. While the House approved the bill in a 363-64 vote, allotting $261 billion for highways and $55 billion for transit over six years, it funds only the first three years. Congress will need to find a way to pay for the final three years.

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