Senator Bob Corker announced Tuesday the Senate has agreed to vote on his bipartisan amendment to the Highway Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (H.R. 5021) that he said "would remove a budget gimmick known as pension smoothing to pay for a short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund and force Congress to stop shirking its responsibility to pass a long-term transportation bill this year." The amendment later passed.
He said, “Left to my own accord, I would have much rather seen a long-term plan pass today, but knowing that was not going to happen, I chose to work to make the bill better rather than throw up my hands and automatically say ‘no’ – which is the default position far too often in Washington.
“I am pleased the Senate overwhelmingly supported our effort to improve the legislation by stripping out an egregious budget gimmick, and I urge the House to pass our more fiscally conservative bill so we can ensure Congress will be forced to find a sustainable solution to our nation’s highway funding by year end.”
He said the amendment to H.R. 5021 would:
· Extend federal transportation program authorizations through December 19, 2014 to ensure that Congress remains focused on the critical and urgent task of passing a fully-funded long-term solution to the Highway Trust Fund crisis before the end of the year;
· Provide sufficient funding to the Department of Transportation to reimburse states for highway and transit projects through December 2014;
· Strike the pension smoothing provisions that generate revenue in the 10-year window that would likely cost taxpayers money in the long run, and;
· Include revenue provisions from the Preserving America’s Transit and Highways (PATH) Act reported out of the Senate Finance Committee that contain bipartisan tax compliance measures, while omitting the pension smoothing gimmick.