Earlier today, the U.S. Senate passed by a voice vote, H.R. 3819, a short-term highway bill extension. This bill was passed yesterday by the House and will now go to the President for his signature.
Senator Barbara Boxer withdrew her opposition after the Senate agreed to confirm Sarah Elizabeth Feinberg to be administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration.
The bill provides for a short term patch through November 20, 2015 so that a long-term bill can be finalized between the House and Senate.
Included in this bill was a three year extension until December 31, 2018 for the railroads to be able to implement Positive Train Control technology. With the deadline looming at the end of this year, it has been clear the railroads did not have the time necessary to implement the technology. The result would have been the rails grinding to a halt and a catastrophic impact to the overall economy. This three year extension was a common sense response to this issue.
We look forward to continuing to work with Congress on passing a long-term highway bill next month.