Earlier today, the Conference Committee filed final language in the House of Representatives, which will initiate the final round of votes on the highway bill, H.R. 22 – the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015. The language will first be voted on in the House, likely in the next day or so. Once the bill passes the House, as it’s expected to do, it will move to the Senate for consideration. After consideration and passage in the Senate, the bill will head to the President for signature.
While the bill is expected to pass, one more extension of the current program is likely necessary. Current program authority expires this Friday, at midnight. While the bill could technically be finalized before the current expiration, that would mean the bill would be signed late at night, just hours after passing the Senate, leaving no time to organize a signing ceremony. Given that completion of a long-term transportation bill is a big accomplishment for Congress, Members will likely want to mark the occasion with a bit more ceremony. So, we can expect to see one more short extension, probably into next week, but the bill essentially finalized by the end of this week.
The FAST Act is a 5 year bill that includes:
- Reorganization of MCSAP grants;
- Reforms to regulatory process;
- Changes to the CSA program; and,
- New data quality requirements.
Additional information will be sent out as CVSA staff completes a review of the final bill language.
Click here for text of the bill.
Click here for the Joint Conference Report Statement.