The U.S. Senate approved a piece of legislation that will extend the funding of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as well as for federal highway programs. The funding for these programs would have ceased, had this extension not been passed.
This Transportation bill has been extended several times already, and it is fairly widely agreed upon that a more permanent piece of legislation is needed to regulate this industry. However, this extension will keep up to a million highway workers at work. A simple extension is better than letting the bill expiring, which would furlough thousands of workers as soon as the legislation expired.
This basically serves as a stop-gap measure that will also provide the government with the ability to collect taxes on airline ticket sales through the FAA. Earlier this week, the FAA incurred a partial shutdown for two weeks, which cost the government $400 Million in taxes associated with airline ticket sales.
The Senate was able to pass the pill with a large margin of 92-6. This was largely due to some last minute negotiations by Sen. Barbara Boxer. Sen. Boxer is the chairman of the Senate Public Works Committee, which oversees the highway programs. Boxer negotiated an agreement between Republican senators Rand Paul and Tom Coburn due to their concerns of wasteful spending. This aided to avoiding a last-minute obstacle to the passage, because the FAA funding is set to expire this Friday (September 16).
John Crawley, a reporter for Reuters, had the following to say regarding the current state of Capital Hill:
“It remains unclear ahead of an election year whether the House of Representatives, which approved the extensions earlier this week, and the Senate can come together on the bigger bills before the next renewals are due.
The charged political climate in Washington is largely fuelled by partisan divisions over spending, taxes and budget deficits. The transportation bills would require several hundred billion dollars in funding over several years.”
Although it may be difficult to foresee how our elected officials will work together in the future, it is nice to see a healthy negotiation to pass a bill that the American people need.
This is a positive step for the Trucking and Transportation Industry. Although it is not yet possible to file Heavy Vehicle Use Taxes with Form 2290, the folks at Express Truck Tax will be available to answer any questions and help drivers file those taxes. For more information, visit the Express Truck Tax website or call our Truck Tax experts at 704-234-6005. You can also chat online, or email any questions to support@ExpressTruckTax.com.