If we don’t have a long term solution to the Highway Trust Fund come the end of this week, you can blame House Republicans.
If procrastination was truly masturbation, then they would be the equivalent of a 13-year-old boy going through puberty.
Congress is closing its doors this week for the upcoming August recess and there is one major piece of legislation that many expected to be passed by now, but still hasn’t. Yes, I’m talking about the Highway Trust Fund, the budgetary expenditure that state’s use to pay for roads, bridges, and highway costs across the nation!
With the fund being scheduled to run out on July 31st at midnight – that’s three days from now (!!) – House and Senate Republicans can’t agree on which plan to put forward. Senate Republicans, headed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, were able to compromise with Senate Democrats over a long-term solution to funding the Highway Trust Fund. The bill passed last week in the Senate and currently resides in the House.
House Republicans want nothing to do with Senate legislation over the Highway Trust Fund. They have their own legislation that they hope to pass instead, which Sen. McConnell has rejected multiple times over the past few weeks.
The biggest difference between the House and Senate funding plans comes in the form of how long they want to fund the Highway Trust Fund. The Senate bill funds the highway trust for three-years through deep spending cuts and fundamental changes to a litany of government programs. The House measure on the other hand would just extend the current funding for the remainder of the year, giving the House’s Ways and Means Committee – who’s chaired by House Republican Paul Ryan – time to come up with a long-term revenue plan that would make changes to the international tax code, which would help fund the majority of the Highway Trust Fund.
If the House plan sounds like some fever dream from a crazy person, that’s because it is!
The difference in perception between House and Senate Republicans is this; House Republicans believe they can get a better deal in not having to sacrifice the things they want, while Senate Republicans feel their deal already makes deep cuts to many government programs while still funding the Highway Trust Fund. In other words, Senate Republicans feel not coming up with a long-term solution to the Highway Trust Fund now could spell doom for the GOP come the 2016 elections.
In that case, Senate Republicans have a strong point. The Highway Trust Fund is a MASSIVE government program that many jobs and governmental projects depend on. Come next year if they can’t find a viable solution to financially back the Highway Trust Fund, that could seriously hurt them come the 2016 elections.
Politically you use the same rules with the Highway Trust Fund as you do with the Wu-Tang Clan, both are nothin’ ta fuck with!
(Photo Credits: HarperCollins, wutang-corp.com)