WASHINGTON—The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Oct. 22 on a six-year, $325 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill.
The House vote on the Surface Transportation Reauthorization & Reform Act of 2015 comes none too soon, as the current stopgap funding for transportation runs out Oct. 29.
However, there are concerns about the new legislation. The bill was introduced Oct. 16, and according to news reports, key staffers at the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said they anticipated the House Ways and Means Committee would only be able to find about half of the necessary funding at this time.
Funds for the remaining three years of the bill, they said, would with luck be “unlocked” by the legislation's three-year point.
Meanwhile, the Tire Industry Association warned members they needed to remain vigilant to make sure any provisions regarding mandatory tire registration remained out of the House package and of any bill Congress finally approves.
The Senate's current version of the transportation bill contains a provision giving the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration authority to place responsibility for tire registration on independent tire dealers.
Mandatory registration ended with passage of the Surface Transportation Act of 1982. Resuming it, according to TIA, would make tire retailers liable for fines of up to $800,000 per store for each violation.
While the House bill as introduced contains no mandatory registration provisions, the Senate provision means the issue is far from resolved, according to the Oct. 19 issue of TIA's Weekly Legislative Update.
“Assuming that we are successful in getting the bill out of the House without the tire registration provision, we will need to reach out to members of the House-Senate Conference Committee,” TIA said.