Senate Transportation Plan Would Maintain Current Spending for Two Years

Spending on U.S. highway, bridge and transit programs would be kept at current levels plus inflation for two years under a bipartisan plan proposed by a Senate panel.

The legislation, described in an e-mailed statement from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last night, doesn’t say how to fill the $12 billion gap between revenue from the 18.4 cents-per-gallon U.S. gasoline tax, which raises money for these programs, and the amount needed to maintain spending over that period.

It would reduce the number of U.S. surface transportation programs to 30 from 90 and bar senators from directing money to specific projects, according to the statement.

The committee is scheduled to consider the bill Nov. 9. It was introduced by Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, Senator James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, Senator Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, and Senator David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican.

Representative John Mica, chairman of the House transportation committee, has said he wants to propose a bill that keeps spending at current levels for six years.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lisa Caruso in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at

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