While just a few weeks ago, we were gearing up for the House to move a new transportation bill through the Committee and then the floor, action has once again been delayed.
At this point, it looks like the soonest the House Transportation Committee will take action will be mid-October, with floor action hopefully to follow soon thereafter. As the current transportation extension expires at the end of October, Congress will almost certainly have to extend it again, likely through December. The primary roadblock continues to be how to fill the funding hole in the Highway Trust Fund.
While it is frustrating to have action pushed back yet another time, it has given us more time to continue working with Congressional offices to build support for retaining the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) without funding cuts or policy changes. We have heard that TAP continues to be a point of discussion during negotiations.
We have met with dozens of Republican offices both on and off the Committee, talking about the local control built into TAP and how the funding benefits their districts and constituents, to build support in case we face an amendment threat.
And, Rep. Larsen (D-WA) led a sign-on letter of all Transportation Committee Democrats to ask Ranking Members DeFazio (D-OR) and Norton (D-DC) indicating that a bipartisan transportation bill must not harm TAP, and that they stand ready to work together on protecting TAP.
Thank you so much to those of you who helped add to the drumbeat in support of TAP by contacting your Member of Congress during our call to action earlier this month.
Hopefully these extra weeks will give us the extra support and momentum needed for the House transportation bill to sustain TAP without cuts or changes. This will position us well when the House and Senate get to final negotiations (hopefully) by year's end.