A proposed fuel tax will again be the main issue hampering a compromise on the highway budget bill during this Congressional session.
The Senate Commerce Committee has filed its report on the Surface Transportation Safety Reauthorization Act of 2003 (S. 1978), clearing the way for consideration by the full Senate early this year. Senate action could be delayed, however, by the Energy bill and FY 2004 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which contains the DOT budget.
Meanwhile, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will consider its reauthorization bill (HR 3550) with mark-up as early as next month.
The sticking point again will be a fuel tax increase. The House budget assumes a tax increase which is opposed by the Administration.