The transportation authorization conferees are making a strong push to complete negotiations on the bill today or tomorrow.
Yesterday, the Senate conferees offered to the House conferees RAMP language without the point of order enforcement mechanism. Opposition to the RAMP enforcement language by key Senate Appropriators appears to be influencing the Senate EPW Committee leadership.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I) staff told me that the T&I Committee conferees support countering with language that retains the point of order, but that objections by the Chairmen of the House Appropriations, Budget, and Rules Committees are limiting the T&I Committee’s ability to include the RAMP point of order language in the transportation authorization bill.
We’ve proposed alternative point of order language that phases-in the increase in HMTF funding and caps that funding at a fixed amount, subject to future inflation increase adjustments. This approach would provide the Appropriators greater certainty of the future amounts they would have to appropriate (whereas the future amounts of Harbor Maintenance Tax to be collected are unknown).
Please reach out to your Congressional delegations as soon as possible and insist that the RAMP point of order language be included in the conference report. While the Senate offer is an improvement over the status quo, it is not the long-term solution the nation requires.